Hartlepool’s council bosses have issued a warning about the latest social media craze of people offering lifts in exchange for money which is being dubbed ‘Facebook Taxis’.
Hartlepool Borough Council’s trading standards and licensing manager, Ian Harrison, said: “the council carries out rigorous checks on its taxi trade so the public can have confidence that both the driver and the vehicle are safe and reliable”.
The current issue has been highlighted by a number of councils including Bournemouth, with bosses pointing out major safety problems with jumping into a ‘Facebook Taxi’.
Unlike licensed taxi drivers, those offering taxi journeys for payment on social media have not been subjected to any of the rigorous checks and their vehicles will not have the required insurance to carry paying customers.
As reported by the Hartlepool Mail, Harrison noted a recent incident of a woman offering ‘cheap runs’ on Facebook but when the driver turned up to pick the passenger up, it was in fact a middle aged man who was driving the vehicle.
He said: “For anyone who is, or thinking of, providing ‘cheap taxi runs’, I would remind them that to do so is a criminal offence, and Hartlepool Borough Council will not hesitate to prosecute in order to protect the public and retain public confidence in the taxi licensing system.”