A private hire vehicle (PHV) driver was stripped of his Bristol City Council licence after passing multiple speeding offences onto a friend that rented his cab.
According to the minutes released by Bristol City Council (BCC), the minicab driver was also accused of other offences, including using laughing gas and littering. The accusations were denied by the unnamed driver, but city licensing members indicated that the pattern of behaviour raised doubts against the driver’s suitability as a licensed driver.
The Committee noted that the driver had recently been convicted in Bath Magistrates’ Court of the offences of speeding on 23 April 2022 and of failing to provide information as to the identity of the driver concerning another speeding offence on 3 January 2022. The case had been adjourned until September 2022 as the Court is considering disqualifying the driver.
Councillors also noted that the PHV driver was still under investigation for a potential offence of perverting the course of justice concerning alleged false information he provided on the notices of intended prosecution.
The BCC report concluded: “The primary function of the Committee is a regulatory one where the main focus is public safety and protection and not to try to second guess the outcome of the pending criminal investigation.
“However, having listened to OMM’s (the driver) explanation regarding the individual he named as the driver of the vehicle on three occasions, the Committee did not consider this to be credible.
“Therefore, on a balance of probabilities the Members believed that OMM had acted dishonestly by giving the incorrect details, that he was the driver of the vehicle and had been speeding on all three occasions. Even if OMM’s explanation was the truth, at the very least, he had allowed an unlicensed driver to use his private hire vehicle which placed the public at risk as his insurance would not have covered this particular use of the vehicle.”
The report put forward by Councillor Wayne Jones finished by saying: “The overall picture presented by OMM was a licensee whose standards had fallen well below the high standards the Council is entitled to expect from those whom it licences.
“There had been multiple offences over a period of time which gave rise to a greater cause for concern and demonstrated a pattern of inappropriate behaviour.
"Consequently, the Committee could no longer be satisfied that OMM was a fit and proper person to hold a private hire driver’s licence. Given he was the sole proprietor and person licensed to drive his Private Hire vehicle, the vehicle licence would also be revoked.
“The Committee considered that due to the gravity and number of concerns regarding OMM the interests of public safety required the revocation of the driver’s licence to have immediate effect.”