An unlicensed private hire driver has been prosecuted by North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) for driving illegally for Ashby-de-la-Zouch taxi firm, A1 Taxis.
Appearing at Loughborough Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 8 October, Zara Siraj, 40, of Bedworth, pleaded guilty to three offences including driving a licensed vehicle without a private hire driver’s licence, failing to have insurance to cover third party risks and providing incorrect and misleading information to Licensing Enforcement Officers.
Following the court hearing, the defendant received the following penalties;
Six points to be issued to Siraj’s driving licence
A fine of £166
A victim surcharge of £34
Ordered to pay council costs of £185.
The district council had received complaints from members of the public to say that Ms Siraj had been driving a licensed vehicle without a licence to carry out bookings, including taking passengers to East Midlands airport.
Licensing officers from NWLDC visited the taxi firm to look into the vehicle’s bookings in August 2019. Siraj was working at the firm on the day of the visit and was deliberately dishonest with booking information and failed to give any details of the East Midlands airport journey.
After the visit, the two officers requested CCTV footage from the IT department at East Midlands airport which confirmed that Ms Siraj had been driving the vehicle on 12 August 2019 at around 4.20pm and committing an offence.
Councillor Andrew Woodman, Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “Driving a licensed vehicle without a private hire driver’s licence and failing to have the necessary insurance as a taxi driver, is not only a criminal offence but incredibly dangerous to passengers and other road users.
“The role of our licensing enforcement officers is to ensure that individuals and firms are complying with the law which is there to keep people safe. The most basic rule of taxi driving is that you must have a licence and this case shows how seriously we take our role in enforcing this.
“Thankfully the vast majority of the drivers in our district do a fantastic job and I hope people can use our licensed operators with confidence, knowing the zero tolerance approach we take to unlicensed drivers.”