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Private hire driver caught using phone must pay £5,500 in costs as court rejects revoked licence appeal

Updated: May 13

Buckinghamshire Council successfully defended a decision to revoke a private hire vehicle (PHV) driver’s licence after being caught using a mobile phone whilst driving.

Mr Azhar Iqbal was stopped on the A355 by Thames Valley Police officers, after he was spotted holding and talking into a mobile device whilst driving in August 2022.

Despite the requirement for all licence holders to report any offences promptly, Mr Iqbal failed to inform Buckinghamshire Council until April 2023, eight months after the offence. This delay further compounded his breach of licence conditions, leading to the revocation of his private hire licence by the council on 12 October 2023.

Mr Iqbal's subsequent attempt to overturn his conviction was dismissed by Magistrates on 19 December 2023. The court, after reviewing evidence including police body cam footage, found Mr Iqbal guilty, resulting in a penalty of 6 DVLA points and fines totalling £774.

Further challenges by Mr Iqbal against the council’s decision to revoke his licence were heard at Wycombe Magistrates' Court on 26 April 2024. The District Judge upheld the council’s action, ruling that the mobile phone offence justified the revocation under existing policies. The judge cited no exceptional circumstances that would warrant a different decision.

In addition to upholding the revocation, the court ordered Mr Iqbal to pay the council’s legal costs, amounting to £5,500. This ruling not only supports the council’s firm stance on maintaining high safety standards but also serves as a deterrent to other drivers considering similar violations.

Mark Winn, Cabinet Member for Homelessness and Regulatory Services, said: “Buckinghamshire Council recognises the serious risk presented by mobile phone use while driving. It is a significant distraction and substantially increases the risk of the driver crashing – putting passengers, pedestrians, and other road users at risk of serious harm. Importantly, the handling of mobile phones while driving is completely avoidable and there are many hands-free solutions available.

“The council expects its licensed drivers to maintain professional standards, comply with the law and protect public safety. Licensed drivers who are found driving while using a phone by hand can expect to have their licence revoked in line with our policy.”  


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