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TAXI DRIVER EXEMPTION: Confusion surrounding seat belt law enforcement for black cab drivers

Updated: Sep 7, 2023



Taxi driver representative attempts to clear up seat belt rules for taxi drivers as police continue issuing fines against cabbies.


Anthony Street, an executive at Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA), has addressed the growing confusion regarding seat belt law enforcement for black cab drivers. Street reiterated that licensed taxi drivers are legally exempt from wearing seat belts while on duty or plying for hire.

Citing Rule 101 of the Highway Code, Street affirmed that black cab drivers are exempt from wearing seat belts when carrying passengers or "plying for hire". This exemption was put in place to ensure driver safety, allowing them to quickly exit the vehicle in emergency situations or threatening circumstances. Additionally, it enables easier communication with passengers and facilitates faster drop-offs and pick-ups.


However, reports have emerged of black cab drivers being fined for not wearing seat belts, indicating that some police officers may be unaware of these exceptions or incorrectly applying the law.

Anthony Street, LTDA Executive, said in TAXI Newspaper: “Recently, there seems to have been some confusion when it comes to seat belt law enforcement and how the law is being applied. I will reiterate what Lloyd (Baldwin) said. Black cab drivers are legally exempt from wearing seat belts while on duty or plying for hire.


“Unfortunately, we are still hearing about drivers being served with fines. Under Rule 101 of the Highway Code, drivers of licensed taxis while "plying for hire" or carrying passengers are exempt from wearing seatbelts.


“This exemption originated from concerns over driver safety, allowing drivers to exit the vehicle quickly in the event of a threatening situation or emergency. It also facilitates easier communication with passengers and faster drop off/pick-ups.


“Unfortunately, some police officers might be unaware of these exceptions or applying the law incorrectly.


“This lack of knowledge can lead to unnecessary fines for black cab drivers, as has recently been seen in London.

“Taxi drivers who have been incorrectly fined due to this misunderstanding have the right to appeal the fines. A formal appeal can be lodged, outlining the nature of their work at the time of the incident, and highlighting the specific legal exemptions that apply.


“If you are one of these unfortunate drivers who have been fined incorrectly please contact the LTDA.”

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