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TEST ALERT: Taxi drivers MUST NOT engage with UK emergency alert whilst driving

Taxi drivers must NOT read UK Government emergency alerts when driving, reminds London licensing authority ahead of testing.

A new system that will give the Government and emergency services the capability to send an alert directly to mobile phones when there is a risk to life has been launched.

The Government will test the new emergency alert system at 3pm on Sunday 23 April. The new system warns people if there is danger to life nearby and gives advice on how to stay safe.

The system is ready to be tested across the country following successful tests in East Suffolk and Reading. The Government hopes the alert system will provide the best possible protection against an ever-evolving range of threats.

Despite the urgency of the alert, taxi drivers and other motorists must NOT read the message until they have safely pulled over.

Government advice says: "You should not read or respond to an emergency alert when you are driving or riding a vehicle.

"Find somewhere safe and legal to stop before picking up your phone and reading the message. If there is nowhere safe or legal to stop close by, and nobody else is in the vehicle to read the alert, tune into live radio for information until you can find somewhere safe and legal to stop."

Transport for London (TfL) sent out a reminder about the imminent test alert this Sunday to 10,000's of taxi and minicab drivers via email this week.

How will I receive the UK Emergency Alert?

A UK-wide alerts test will take place on Sunday 23 April which will see people receive a test message on their mobile phones.

The alerts will only ever come from the Government or emergency services, and they will issue a warning, always including the details of the area impacted, and providing instructions about how best to respond - linking to where people can receive further information.

Emergency Alerts will be used very rarely - only being sent where there is an immediate risk to people’s lives - so people may not receive an alert for months, or even years.

The service has already been used successfully in a number of other countries, including the US, Canada, the Netherlands and Japan, where it has been widely credited with saving lives, for example, during severe weather events. In the UK, alerts could be used to tell residents of villages being encroached by wildfires, or of severe flooding.


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