Darlington Council are proposing a new set of licensing rules for taxi and private hire drivers including reducing the minimum light requirement of tinted windows.
The current policy requires rear windows to allow 70% light transmission (front windows have statutory requirements of 75% and 70%).
Because many vehicles are now manufactured with rear window tints less than 70% as standard, councillors are now debating whether to lower their minimum requirements to help cabbies save money on having to replace windows.
It is being proposed that window tints be reduced to 30%, representing a cost saving to the trade.
The news comes as the council releases a set of proposals for public consultation. Among the new proposals, the council is looking at dropping the requirement for taxi and private hire drivers to have a spare wheel.
This is because some vehicles no longer come with a spare wheel as standard, and instead come with a pressurised tyre sealant for emergencies.
The council are also considering making changes to how advertising is used on taxis. The proposals say: “Vehicles are now applying wrapped advertising to panels and doors that have a different background colour to the vehicle.
”This enhances the advert but can make the vehicle look unsightly. It is proposed that the advert be limited in to the rear quarter panel only and must not change the underlying colour of the vehicle.”
The consultation period for all proposals will end on 2 October, whereupon all responses will be collated and a report submitted to the licensing committee for consideration.