Three unsafe taxis taken off Harrogate roads in police crackdown

Police have cracked down on unsafe taxi drivers in Harrogate.

Police have cracked down on unsafe taxi drivers in Harrogate.

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Three Harrogate taxis have been ordered off the road in a police operation to crackdown on unsafe vehicles providing a service to passengers.

North Yorkshire Police worked alongside Harrogate Borough Council, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and HMRC to run the operation between 7 -11pm on Friday November 11.

From the 25 private hire vehicles and Hackney Carriages checked, officers gave three taxis immediate prohibition notices, taking them off the road, and another was clamped by the DVSA due to a number of defects relating to tyres, brakes and electrical faults.

One other vehicle was given a delayed prohibition notice for a brake defect, giving them seven days to rectify the fault and a number of drivers were advised in relation to minor vehicle defects and warned by taxi inspectors about breaches of taxi licencing rules.

Traffic Sergeant Andy Morton said: “We have now been conducting these operations periodically for the last three years in an effort to improve safety for taxi customers.

"Previous years operations have found that a significant number of vehicles were below the necessary safety standards and I am again disappointed by the fact that this year’s operation found three vehicles that had to be taken off the road immediately, due to dangerous defects.

“I want to again remind taxi drivers that it is their responsibility to ensure their vehicle is free of defects before they use it, regardless of the fact it is a company vehicle and that they will be held responsible for these defects which ultimately put their safety at risk, together with that of their passengers."

Out of 25, 18 vehicles underwent full mechanical examinations for defects by the DVSA and drivers were checked by HMRC taxation officers.

Councillor John Ennis, HBC Licensing Committee Chairman said: “The safety of the public is our number one priority. Operators of private hire vehicles and Hackney Carriages must take their responsibilities seriously.

"Whilst the majority of vehicles stopped were found to be roadworthy, a small number of vehicles had defects serious enough for them to be taken off the road.

“The council conducts regular inspections to ensure that taxi drivers vehicles are in a roadworthy condition, they are properly licensed and they are complying with the conditions of their licence.

"Operating a defective vehicle can endanger both passengers and other road users, and it will also have serious implications on the taxi driver’s livelihood.”