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The DfT lists surprising items all taxi and PHV drivers should carry to help them stay safe

As part of new guidance released by the Department for Transport (DfT), it was suggested taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers carry four items with them on shift to remain safe.

Taxi drivers often find themselves dealing with unfamiliar individuals in secluded areas and handling cash, making them susceptible to potential harm. Moreover, picking up passengers on the streets without knowledge of their home address or contact details further exposes drivers to potential risks, especially instances of violence.

Recognising these challenges, the DfT's new guidelines aim to equip drivers with precautionary measures and know-how in handling hate crimes, managing cash, and maintaining personal security. As part of the recommendations, the Government suggests carrying four specific items, some of which may seem unconventional, but aim to bolster driver safety.

The first item on the list, and one very few cabbies will currently equip themselves with, is a spare key. It’s not clear what key the DfT are suggesting the cabbie carry, vehicle or house, but it is in case an assailant attempts to confiscate or discard the primary key during an incident.

Next, it is advised to have a mobile phone on hand. Obviously do not hold the mobile device while driving as this could result in 6 penalty points, and in some regions, a loss of your taxi licence.

Drivers are encouraged to utilise the ‘emergency information’ function available on most smartphones. By setting up this feature, anyone who picks up the phone can access vital information necessary for emergency

situations without needing to unlock the device. Alternatively, drivers can carry an emergency card containing essential details such as their name, date of birth, blood group, allergies, and an emergency contact number.

The third item recommended by the DfT is a notepad and pen. Despite most smart phone devices having notebook capability,

the old fashioned pen and paper made the top four list. The DfT says cabbies will be able to document any incidents or concerning situations that occur during their shifts. This record can prove valuable when reporting incidents or providing eyewitness accounts to the authorities.

Lastly, drivers are advised to carry an explanation of the fare structure. This will aid in effectively explaining the fare breakdown to passengers who may feel they are being overcharged. By having a clear explanation readily available, drivers can maintain transparent and fair communication with their patrons, potentially defusing any confrontations.


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