Updated: May 7
New nationwide safety measures for the taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) sector have already proven to be effective in Luton by rejecting a driver licence application in the region.
According to Luton Today, the measures recently implemented helped Luton Council prevent a driver from being approved a licence due to previous safeguarding concerns.
The driver had failed to disclose the removal of their licence in their application but was quickly caught by the database checks brought in by all Local Authorities.
Councils in England have been handed the new tool to tackle misconduct among taxi and PHV drivers. A recently passed law will require all local authorities to use a national database to record instances where drivers have had their licences removed due to poor conduct. The database will prevent drivers from simply reapplying for licences in other areas.
While the majority of taxi and private hire trips are safe, there have been a small number of cases that have raised concerns. A minority of drivers have been linked to incidents of sexual harassment, abuse, and poor driving. Using the national database will ensure these cases are not overlooked, and that councils can take swift action to protect passengers from harm.
Upon the release of the new law, Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “The safety of passengers, especially women and girls, is paramount. That’s why I’m bringing in tough new measures to ensure that when you catch a cab, you can be confident your driver will take you from A to B safely and without incident.
“While the vast majority of drivers are hardworking and honest, we’re taking steps to remove the few who abuse their position and pose a risk to passengers.”