Taxi drivers were again warned of ‘sneaky’ tactics being used by cyclists to capture taxi drivers using phones whilst sitting in London’s clogged traffic.
A Licensed Taxi Driver’s Association (LTDA) representative suggested that as many as NINTY PERCENT of reports made to the police are coming from cyclists armed with video helmets.
The latest cabbie was caught after a cyclist engaged in small talk whilst sitting in stand still traffic on Sloane Street.
Lloyd Baldwin, LTDA Executive SO, said in TAXI Newspaper: “If you do find yourself sitting in this congestion, don’t be tempted to pick up your mobile phone. I recently had a call from a member of ours who had received a FPN for 6 points and a £200 fine, after being filmed with a phone in his hand at the wheel. He didn’t remember any such incident and had not been approached by a Police officer.
“I advised that it was probably a report from a cyclist or possibly a member of the public and suggested that he contacted the Police explaining that he didn’t know of any incident and to ask them to email him the evidence against him. I told him to relay to the Police that he didn’t want to plead not guilty, then attend court only for the Police to produce evidence which showed him making an error he was unaware of. The Police agreed and sent him a video.
“The member emailed the video to me. What I watched showed just how sneaky these cyclists can be. Picture the scene. Our member is sitting in Sloane Street traffic, northbound at the lights with Knightsbridge. A cyclist drives past and has a look through his driver’s window. The cyclist saw that the cabbie had his phone in his hand. The cyclist carried on, but then reversed back and started a conversation with the cabbie about how a car had stopped in the cycle box. Obviously, the cabbie showed no interest and gave him a look of ‘so what’. Little did he realise, the reason for the conversation was so the cyclist could film the member up close and report him to the Police.
“Of course, the cabbie was unknowingly guilty and will have to face the consequences, but it goes to show you can never be too careful. I may sound like a broken record and friend of mine suggest I write about something else (they are happy to tell me how boring I am), but I know what damage these six points can do to a cabbie.
“So please be careful. In my experience, 90% of reports made to the Police are from cyclists.”
If you are caught driving while using a mobile phone, you can receive 6 penalty points on your driving licence and a fine of up to £200. If you have been driving for less than two years, you may also face having your licence revoked.