Black cab rental firm, Colts Cabs, has issued a warning to taxi drivers regarding the controversial new six-point licence suspension policy put in place by Transport for London (TfL), stating that it is "not a laughing matter".
The policy, which revokes the taxi driver's licence for accruing just six penalty points in certain scenarios, has caused concern among trade representatives, who have called for a review and amendment of the rule.
Many taxi driver representatives have questioned why a London bus driver can apply for the role with the same six points on their licence, yet a taxi driver risks being suspended from their job for a number of months. Colts Cabs reported that they have lost six cabbies to the policy, and a spokesperson for the company released a statement saying that the situation is becoming a serious problem.
"The six-point suspension rule adopted by TfL is not a laughing matter," the spokesperson stated. "We have now had six drivers suspended, and only today a customer with two kids under five has been thrown under the bus. Thankfully, his DVLA license is valid, and we are trying to fit him into our work team."
The controversy surrounding the six-point suspension policy has left many taxi drivers feeling vulnerable, and calls for a review of the rule continue to grow. As the debate continues, it remains to be seen how TfL will respond to the concerns raised by taxi driver representatives and trade unions.
Changes to the new policy include:
For an offence of driving without reasonable consideration, if the courts award 6 or more points, the penalty from TfL could be a licence revocation. If the courts gave less than 6 points TfL could issue a three-month licence suspension.
For an offence of using a handheld mobile phone, which carries a mandatory 6 points TfL could revoke a licence.
More than one conviction for a major driving offence within the last five years would merit a licence refusal and no further application would be considered until at least seven years after the most recent conviction.
Any driver accumulating nine or more penalty points will receive a warning that incurring additional points is likely to result in the loss of their taxi licence.
Licensed taxi drivers who accumulate 12 penalty points on or after 20 December 2021 will have their taxi licence suspended for six months regardless of whether they are disqualified from driving and lose their DVLA driving licence or not.