A Three Rivers District Council private hire driver has been convicted for driving without a licence for almost two months while continuing to take bookings from his operator.
Kevin Allder, 64, carried on working as a private hire driver even though his licence had expired on December 6 last year and was convicted in court of failing to possess a valid private hire driver’s licence and five offences of not displaying his private hire badge.
The offences took place between December 6, 2018 and January 30, 2019.
According to a report by Three Rivers District Council , Allder had applied to Three Rivers District Council's Licensing team on January 28, 2019, to renew his private hire driver's licence.
It was during this process that lead licensing officer Lorna Fryer became aware of Allder's invalid licence.
A full investigation took place and it was found that on 40 separate occasions Allder had continued to drive his private hire vehicle without the required private hire drivers licence and continued to accept books from his operator although he knew his licence had expired.
The 64-year-old believed he could renew his licence without anyone becoming aware it had expired, he said he would: "drive carefully, paper over the cracks and carry on. The last thing I thought, was Three Rivers would know the amount of specified work I would be delegated, and on what days."
On sentencing, at court, the Chairman of the Bench said: "It is absolutely right for the Council to say that maintaining a current private hire driver's licence is very important in regard to the insurance question.
"You were lucky that you were insured for third-party risks. If you had not been, that would have taken this prosecution into a different league.
"We are also not convinced that you weren't aware when you did submit your application in January that you could not drive until and unless it was granted."
Allder was fined a total of £400, with an additional £200 costs and £30 victim surcharge.
Due to the conviction he will be unable to apply to Three Rivers District Council for a period of five years following the conviction.
Chair of Licensing Committee, Cllr Steve Drury, said: "Drivers of Private Hire and Hackney Carriage vehicles are expected to take responsibility to ensure all their documents are up to date, including their driver and vehicle licences.
"The licensing authority does not have any obligation to remind drivers of the expiry dates pertaining to their licence.
"The onus is entirely on the individuals, and this has been reiterated to all the Three Rivers operators and drivers on numerous occasions.
"This case should set an example to all existing and new drivers that they must thoroughly read and adhere to the relevant policies and regulations that relate to their licences.
"Otherwise, they risk having their licence revoked and further action being taken, not only against their licence, but they could also jeopardise the operator’s licence who contracts out their bookings."
Allder was fined a total of £400, with an additional £200 costs and £30 victim surcharge and due to the conviction he will be ineligible to apply to Three Rivers District Council for a period of five years following the conviction.
Image: Source; Remixed; Wikimedia Commons & Three Rivers District Council
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