Teeside cabbies have been warned to smarten up as Hartlepool council's licensing committee become the latest in a line of councils to start to invoke a dress code.
The new guidelines will see changes as to what is deemed to be acceptable behaviour, attire and previous criminal activity. There will also be a tightening up of the criteria required to obtain a taxi license.
Although there has been no set rules in place, cabbies have always been advised to dress smartly.
It has been recognised by the council, that whilst wearing a tie would be impractical, as well as creating a health and safety issue, recommendations have been made for drivers to wear either a shirt or a polo shirt, with shorts and vests being outlawed.
One of the major changes which new applicants may face is the prospect of those who have been convicted of a violent offence having to wait a minimum of 10 years before they can apply for a license.
Under previous rules, a new applicant who had been convicted of a violent offence had to wait between 3 and 5 years before being able to appy for a license.
Another significant change is a commitment by the licensing committee to be part of a new national register ‘NR3.’
This would assist in preventing drivers who have had licences rejected attempting to obtain a license in a different licensing area.
The new national registration system will allow licensing authorities to check an applicants history dating back up to 25 years.
There is no indication as to a start date for the new regulations as yet.