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‘POINTS SCHEME’: Taxi driver accrues three ‘penalty points’ and fine for smoking inside the taxi

Evidence of a licensed taxi driver breaking the licensing rules has led to the driver being penalised by Tamworth Borough Council under the ‘Driver Penalty Points Scheme’ and they will receive points on their licence for a three-year period and a fixed penalty notice of £50.

If a driver gets more than 12 points in a rolling three-year period, they will appear before committee. The points are against the driver’s Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver's Licence not his DVLA licence.

The penalty points scheme provides a consistent approach to dealing with unacceptable conduct such as failures to abide by the council’s code of conduct, licence conditions, or minor offences when revocation, suspension, prosecution may be disproportionate.

At approximately 3.57pm on Thursday 24 August 2023, whilst travelling near Ventura Retail Park, a Licensing Officer observed a taxi driver smoking whilst driving the vehicle.

Smoking is strictly forbidden whilst driving a Hackney Carriage or a Private Hire vehicle. The policy states that ‘drivers must not, at any time, smoke or permit passengers to smoke in their vehicle as required by the Health Act 2006 and the Smoke-Free (Exemptions and Vehicles) Regulations 2007’. This includes e-cigarettes and vaping. No smoking signs must be displayed clearly visible to passengers.

Three penalty points were awarded for evidence of smoking in the vehicle and a fixed penalty notice of £50 was issued to the driver.

Andrew Barratt, Chief Executive for Tamworth Borough Council, said: “While these may seem minor offences, it’s vital that taxi drivers comply with the law and work to keep their customers safe.

“It is important that taxi drivers who sometimes choose to not comply with the rules and law, realise that anyone could be observing them as they drive on our streets. This is the second incident in the past few months where our officers have observed this offence and have evidence to ensure fixed penalties are issued.

“The smoke-free law came into effect back in 2007, so there is no excuse for anyone to be unaware of the consequences of being caught committing this criminal offence.

“Our Officers are very observant and work hard to ensure that any person breaking the law is convicted and suitable action is taken.”


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