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Taxi driver prosecuted by council for smoking in vehicle after ignoring fixed penalty notices

Updated: Apr 15, 2023

A taxi driver has faced legal consequences after being caught smoking in his taxi by council officials.

Rana Faisal Jameel was brought to court following an incident on 31 October 2022, when Chorley Borough Council staff carried out checks on a licensed premises. During their inspection, council officers observed Jameel, a driver licensed by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, smoking a cigarette while driving on Eaves Lane in Chorley.

The offence occurred as a licensed vehicle is considered to be a smoke-free place under the Health Act 2006, making it illegal to smoke in one.

After investigating the vehicle and identifying Jameel as the driver, the 49-year-old was issued with a fixed penalty notice requiring him to pay a fine. Despite attempts by both Chorley Council and Blackburn with Darwen Council to contact Jameel, he failed to pay the fine.

As a result, Jameel was prosecuted by Chorley Council via the Single Justice Procedure, with Blackburn Council assisting by providing a witness statement.

Adele Hayes, Head of Planning and Enforcement at Chorley Council, said: “Smoking in a smoke-free place is a serious matter. The law is there to protect people when visiting public places, including vehicles and in this case a licensed vehicle that carries members of the public. We won’t hesitate to act if we see this sort of offence being committed.”

Jameel failed to respond to the notice and was found guilty in his absence. He was fined £220 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £88, as well as the Council’s costs of £150.


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