Uber chief executive Kalanick resigns

Uber boss Travis Kalanick has resigned as chief executive after pressure from shareholders.

Mr Kalanick will remain on the board of the firm, however.

His resignation comes after a review of practices at the firm and scandals including complaints of sexual harassment.

Last week he said he was taking an indefinite leave of absence following the sudden death of his mother in a boating accident.

‘Bold decision’

Five major Uber investors demanded Mr Kalanick’s immediate resignation in a letter on Tuesday, the New York Times said.

Mr. Kalanick reportedly said: “I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight.”

Uber’s board said in a statement: “Travis has always put Uber first. This is a bold decision and a sign of his devotion and love for Uber.

“By stepping away, he’s taking the time to heal from his personal tragedy while giving the company room to fully embrace this new chapter in Uber’s history. We look forward to continuing to serve with him on the board.”

‘Uphill climb’

Dan Primack, business editor of the Axios news service, was one of the first to report the investor demands for Mr Kalanick to go.

Mr Primack said a group of investors, but particularly Bill Gurley of venture capitalist firm Benchmark, had put pressure on Mr Kalanick to resign.

“It’s important to note: Travis controlled the board in terms of votes, so really, it was a vey big uphill climb for [Mr] Gurley and the other investors to get this done,” Mr Primack said.

Uber’s future prospects were now “pretty bright”, Mr Primack added.

The firm has been searching for a chief operating officer, but now can seek out Fortune 500 chief executives to take over the top spot, he said.

Scandals

The ride-hailing company has had a series of recent controversies, including the departure of other high-level executives.

Eric Alexander, the former head of Uber’s Asia-Pacific business, left after a report that he had obtained the medical records of a woman who was raped by an Uber driver in 2014.

Mr Alexander reportedly shared them with Mr Kalanick, senior vice-president Emil Michael and others.

Mr Alexander was fired earlier this month, and Mr Michael later left Uber.

Board member David Bonderman made a sexist remark at a meeting about workplace practice recommendations last week and then resigned as a director.

This month Uber said it had fired more than 20 staff and had taken action against others following a review of more than 200 HR complaints that included harassment and bullying.

There has also been a lawsuit from Google’s parent company, Alphabet, over alleged theft of trade secrets related to driverless cars.

In February Uber said it was investigating “abhorrent” sexual harassment claims made by former Uber engineer Susan Fowler.

source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40351859

Cambridge City Council is ignoring government advice on wheelchair-accessible taxis

Cambridge City Council is leaving wheelchair users taking taxis open to higher charges, no assistance getting on and off and even being refused a trip, it is claimed.

The authority does not have a list of accessible taxis under section 167 of the Equality Act 2010, despite it being strongly recommended by the government in preventing discrimination against disabled people.

The Department for Transport’s statutory guidance states that: “Whilst local authorities are under no specific legal obligation to maintain a list under section 167, the Government recommends strongly that they do so.

“Without such a list the requirements of section 165 of the Act do not apply, and drivers may continue to refuse the carriage of wheelchair users, fail to provide them with assistance, or to charge them extra.”

Doug Paulley, who discovered in a freedom of information request to Cambridge City Council that they did not keep a list, says the lack of one is “utterly astonishing”.

He said: “Cambridge City Council put in their newsletter to all their taxi drivers that drivers would be subject to the new anti-discrimination law preventing them from refusing wheelchair users, charging wheelchair users extra and the like.”

Despite not following government advice, the council says it has it own in-house measures to prevent discrimination.

Councillor Gerri Bird, chair of licensing at the city council, who is also the disability lead and a wheelchair user, said: “Wheelchair users should never face an additional charge for calling a taxi.

“I am sorry that our response to Mr Paulley’s Freedom of Information request, whilst it correctly dealt with the questions asked regarding the Equality Act, did not also explain why the City Council does not currently keep a list of wheelchair accessible vehicles under the legislation.

“In fact our own Hackney Carriage and Licensing Hire Policy already requires that no additional charge can be made and that all new hackney carriages must be wheelchair accessible.

“Currently around two-thirds of the taxi fleet is wheelchair accessible. Provisions on our policy also allow for enforcement action to be taken if a driver refuses to transport a wheelchair user, fails to provide them with appropriate assistance or charges them more than a non-wheelchair user.”

Councillor Bird said the city council has taken the view that their own strong policies provided sufficient safeguards, but she said they would be reviewing the Accessibility Policy later this year.

She continued: “As part of that we will be considering not only if we should further strengthen the safeguards for wheelchair users by including a list of designated wheelchair accessible taxis, but also how to meet the needs of those with other mobility impairments, for whom lower, saloon type vehicles may be preferable.

“In the meantime, I’d like to assure Mr Paulley and any wheelchair user that we will be ensuring all taxi drivers are fully aware of their responsibilities under our policy in the July newsletter and that they can travel with confidence in taxis in Cambridge.”

source: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambridge-city-council-taxi-licensing-13206504

Taxi reforms on the cards in Wales

THE system licensing taxis and private hire vehicles in Wales is to be reformed, it has been announced.

Control over the licensing of taxis and private hire vehicles will be devolved to the Welsh Government early next year.

And, yesterday, Wales’ economy and infrastructure secretary Ken Skates announced plans to revamp the system.

Speaking in the Senedd Mr Skates said the reform would form part of a wider revamp of public transport in Wales, including the South Wales Metro.

“When these planned improvements to rail and bus services are implemented, there will remain communities within our society for which public transport is simply not available or a viable alternative to use of a private motor vehicle,” he said.

“Taxi and private hire services are, therefore, an essential aspect of the transport network here in Wales.

“Taxis and private hire vehicles provide a vital public service, connecting people to places when alternative public transport services are not available or viable.

“The contribution that the sector makes to the night-time and tourism economy in many of our communities should not be underestimated.”

But he said the legal framework governing taxis has not been significantly reformed for more than 200 years, while the most recent legislation relating to private hire vehicles outside of London dates back to 1976 and this, along with more recent developments such as mobile phone-based booking apps such as Uber, had resulted in “a complex and fragmented licensing system”.

Mr Skates announced a consultation into the planned changes, due to begin shortly after next month’s General Election.

He said he hoped the new rules would protect licensed drivers from exploitation by rogue firms, as well as ensure customers had the best service possible. He added he also hoped he would be able to make it easier for drivers to work across local authority borders.

“Above all, we have a duty to ensure that the licensing arrangement in Wales safeguards the public and prevents the exploitation of the professional drivers that are delivering these very important services across our communities,” he said.

There are around 9,200 licensed taxi and private hire drivers in Wales.

Details of the reforms are yet to be confirmed.

 

source: http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/gwentnews/15305277.Taxi_reforms_on_the_cards_in_Wales/

Law change provides equal treatment for disabled taxi users

Law change makes it illegal for taxi drivers to discriminate against wheelchair users.

Dec 28

Taxis in Uttlesford are the first in county to get CCTV

CCTV Camera

Taxis in Uttlesford will be the first in Essex to be fitted with CCTV, ensuring greater safety for passengers and drivers alike.

The scheme, initially in 15 taxis and private hire vehicles from eight fleets operating in the district, sees video and audio equipment installed which monitors both the front and rear of the vehicle.

It is a joint venture between Uttlesford District Council, Essex Police, Essex Fire and Rescue and the Uttlesford Licensed Operators and Drivers Association, which work together as the Quality Taxi Partnership. Funding for the scheme, totalling £10,000, was provided by Essex County Council.

Cllr Robert Chambers, Uttlesford District Council Cabinet Member for Finance and Administration, is the council’s lead member for licensing matters. He said: “This is an excellent example of partnership working that will bring a real difference to people in the district. Uttlesford has the lowest crime rate of any Essex district and initiatives such as this can only help make it even safer.”

Barry Drinkwater, Chairman of trade body the Uttlesford Licensed Operators and Drivers Association, said: “‘We are very grateful to Essex County Council for their generous funding – taxi drivers who have signed up to the scheme have not had to pay anything towards the purchase or installation of CCTV in their vehicles.

“It’s great that our leading taxi operators in and around Saffron Walden, Great Dunmow, and Stansted Mountfitchet all appreciate the potential benefits.  One operator reported that last weekend his new CCTV helped him not lose his fare when a group of passengers threatened to run off.”

Chief Inspector Alyson Wilson, from Essex Police, said: “Essex Police is strongly in favour of this initiative, and we believe the benefits are potentially substantial for both drivers and passengers.

“For the driver, CCTV provides a massive deterrent against the risk of a passenger making off without paying his fare, or even of being robbed or assaulted.

“In addition, because CCTV provides an objective record of events, it protects both drivers and passengers from any malicious claims of inappropriate or criminal behaviour.”

Councillor Tracey Chapman

Essex County Councillor Tracey Chapman, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, added: “Following requests from taxi drivers in Uttlesford, I am pleased that we have been able to financially contribute towards the installation of CCTV cameras. The Uttlesford Quality Taxi Partnership is the first in the county to benefit from this funding and I hope the installation will reassure drivers and passengers about their personal safety.”

The Uttlesford Quality Taxi Partnership was set up in 2009 to help the relevant authorities, agencies and members of the trade work together more closely and improve standards.

source: http://www.haverhillecho.co.uk/

Dec 27

It’s a free-for-all at taxi rank, say cabbies

Mark Everitt – calling for a taxi queuing system

FIGHTS are breaking out at a train station as passengers chaotically compete to get cabs.

Taxi drivers say the lack of a queuing system at Wickford railway station is putting them and their customers in danger.

Up to 200 train passengers usually exit the station at once during the rush hour and about ten of them typically require taxis, so hailing a cab in the busy street outside is a free-for-all.

There is no designated queuing area, so some times people form their own disorderly queues while others wait further along the street to be picked up.

Now cabbies are calling for improvements to be made, but say they aren’t getting anywhere.

Taxi driver Mark Everitt, 50, from Wickford, said: “I’ve seen violent fights and had someone banging on my car door, because they’d formed a queue and accused me of picking up a queue jumper.

“One driver had his cab dented when a fight broke out over whose cab it was.

“We’re put in an awkward position because we don’t know who to pick up and elderly people get pushed to the back.

“The customers fight with each other and get angry with us. It’s absolute chaos.

“There’s going to be a nasty accident if a queuing system isn’t brought in.”

The 70 cabbies who use the station want crowd control fencing and a “queue here” sign installed to create a designated pick-up spot, plus shelter for customers waiting for cabs and signs showing  the station has a Hackney taxi rank.

The drivers each pay £300 annually to National Express, which runs the station, for permits to use the rank.

They claim they don’t see where their money goes and want to discuss their ideas for investment with the rail company, but have been demanding a meeting for more than a year without success.

Taxi driver Jason Stammers, 39, who represents 35 Wickford cabbies with Mr Everitt on the Basildon Hackney Proprietors Association, said: “We can’t see where  our money goes. It wouldn’t cost much to put fences, a pole and a shelter up, which would make such a difference.”

A spokeswoman for National Express East Anglia said: “We note the issues raised by the taxi drivers using Wickford station and we will be pleased to discuss these matters with them and look forward  to a positive dialogue.

“The fee paid by taxi drivers to operate from the station taxi rank represents good value at less than £1 a day.”

source: http://www.basildonrecorder.co.uk/

Dec 27

Broken hip hell for Burton OAP

Perviez Akram

A PENSIONER was left in hospital with a broken hip due to the careless driving of a Burton cabbie.

Perviez Akram, 46, of Princess Street, Burton, admitted driving without due care and attention and failing to report an accident when he appeared at Burton Magistrates’ Court.

Akram, a father of four, picked up three pensioners from Thornley Street to take them to a social club gathering at 1.30pm on May 9.

Two elderly women managed to get into the taxi without problem, but as a man in his 70s — known only as Mr Croft — tried getting in, Akram’s vehicle shot forward, causing the pensioner to fall backwards onto the floor.

The taxi’s sliding door also collided with Mr Croft before he fell. He was left with substantial injuries including bruises, cuts and swelling to his face, a broken hip and a swollen wrist.

A local garage owner saw the incident and ran over to assist Mr Croft and call an ambulance, as the victim was covered in blood.

Giles Rowden, prosecuting, said: “As Mr Croft was struggling to get into the vehicle, the defendant walked round and got in his driver’s seat.

“The taxi then shot forward because Akram took his foot off the clutch. Mr Croft wasn’t even in the taxi properly and the door wasn’t closed.

“He sustained nasty injuries and was in hospital for some time.

“Mr Croft has actually died since this happened, and

although we now know his death had nothing to do with this incident, he still suffered with these serious injuries for a considerable time.

“The defendant didn’t report the incident to the police and he knows full well he was supposed to, being a taxi driver.”

Mark Aspden, defending, described the case as ‘tragic’ and said his client offered his condolences to Mr Croft’s family.

He said: “Akram has been a taxi driver for eight years; he holds a clean licence and is normally a careful driver.

“His foot just slipped off the clutch — it wasn’t like he intended to hurt him. Mr Croft lost his balance and, due to his age, he suffered significant injuries.

“Akram followed the ambulance to the hospital and apologised to Mr Croft, as well as visiting his wife to say sorry.

“As regards not reporting the matter, there is no excuse — he should have gone to the police straight away.

“He’s extremely concerned he will lose his job over this and that would have a huge impact on his family.”

Akram’s driving licence was endorsed with six points and he was fined £100 for careless driving.

He was also made to pay £80 for failing to report the accident, £60 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

source: http://www.burtonmail.co.uk/

Dec 26

Coventry taxi driver jailed after jacket found with £49k of drugs in lining

A TAXI driver who was sent a jacket with £49,000 worth of  heroin hidden in the lining has been jailed for a total of four-and-a-half  years.

Lakbir Basra, of Maple Avenue, Exhall, pleaded guilty at  the crown court at Leamington to being involved in the illegal importation of  heroin.

The 42-year-old also admitted to two similar charges in  relation to the class B drug phenobarbytol and the class C drug Alprazolam,  which he had received in previous packages from India.

Prosecutor Mike Conry said that on July 27 Border Agency  officers at the Parcelforce depot in Coventry intercepted a parcel addressed to  Basra’s home.

It contained a black men’s jacket – but when they cut it  open they found eight packages in the lining.

An analysis showed the packages contained 982 grams of  heroin with a street-value of at least £49,000.

The police were told, and after the heroin was replaced  with a harmless powder, the parcel was re-sealed and delivered to Basara’s  home.

Basra answered the door and signed for the parcel. Police  moved in and began a search of the house. As well as the jacket, they found  eight black plastic packages in an area where the children’s school bags were  kept.

Those packages contained 166 grams of Alprazolam and six  packages of a mixture of paracetamol and caffeine.

The officers also found nine packages weighing 908 grams of  phenobarbytol.

Sukhdev Garcha, defending, said the other two drugs were  powerful sedatives which can be used to ‘bulk up’ heroin.

Arguing that Basra’s role was akin to a courier, he said: “He is a hard-working man who has been in this country for 16 years.

“He fell into debt and tried to keep the extent of the debt  from his family and, in fear of losing the family home, when he was approached  he took part in what is before Your Honour.”

Recorder Malcolm Morse jailed Basra for three-and-a-half  years for the heroin offence, with a consecutive 12-month sentence in relation  to the other two drugs.

He told Basra: “You have pleaded guilty to three crimes  that concern the importation of forbidden drugs.

“The drugs in the second and third charges are not only  drugs in themselves, but are sometimes used in mixing with heroin.

Mr Garcha has said I should treat you as if you were a  courier of these drugs. I don’t agree.

“In my judgement you are an important and necessary part of  the chain of supply into this country, although you are closer to the street  dealers that you are to the wholesale suppliers.”

source:  http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/

Dec 26

Ayr taxi driver moves in his schoolgirl fare

 

Taxi driver John Gemmell and his girlfriend

kicks out wife for teenager

A  CONVICTED pervert shacked up with a teenager he met while running her to  SCHOOL  in his taxi.

John Gemmell, 43, split with wife Angela and moved Gemma Lawson into their  marital home just weeks after her 16th birthday.

He had been on a contract to run her from her home in Dundonald, Ayrshire, to  a support centre for kids out of mainstream education for three days a week  since she was aged just 14.

Gemmell was sacked by taxi bosses when they found out Gemma had moved into  his  terraced house.

The shocking revelations emerged as he appeared at Ayr Sheriff Court last  week  after being found guilty of making sexual comments to two girls aged as  young as eight.

A source said: “Everyone who knows him is sickened.

“Gemma moved in just after she turned 16.

“John insists that she was 16 before they got together but that is beside the  point, he obviously got to know her through the taxi driving — it’s not  right.  John and Angela have a six-year-old together and this has ripped the  family  apart.”

A former colleague — who didn’t want to be named — said: “Angela was going on  about them having a relationship but nobody could believe he would be that  stupid.

“Gemmell denied it but didn’t do enough to satisfy the boss and was sacked.

“Obviously the boss was worried about losing the contract for the schools — we  are working with kids and it is an absolute no-no.

“About three weeks later Gemma was found in his house.”

The former workmate added: “This was only a few weeks after he stopped  running  her to school. It seems there was a lot of talk going between them on  the  internet — it’s totally inappropriate.”

Gemmell, accompanied by Gemma, was at court last week for sentencing but it  was deferred until next year for reports.

After the hearing he declined to comment.

But Gemma said: “At the end of the day we are adults, it doesn’t matter how  we  met.

“I was 16 — that makes me an adult.”

Gemmell has been placed on the sex offenders register.

Gemma’s mum Samantha refused to comment.

Read more: http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/

Dec 25

Merry Christmas

To all members & website subscribers

 

Dec 24

Calderdale Council takes 10-year-old taxis off the road

A Map

TAXIS older than 10 years have been refused a licence.

Calderdale Council this week rejected applications from three private hire  vehicles.

The council told the taxi drivers they need to ensure that their vehicles are  maintained “to the highest standard” if they want to continue running them  beyond 10 years old.

Members of Calderdale Council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee said none  of the vehicles were deemed to be in a suitable condition and all of the  applications to renew licences were refused.

Clr Pat Allen, chairman of Calderdale’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee,  said: “The whole committee wants to make it clear that the safety of the public  is absolutely paramount and we expect very high standards.

“These are difficult times for all businesses and the council recognised this  when it changed its policy so that private hire vehicle proprietors did not need  to change their vehicles once the cars reached 10 years old.

“But our main priority is the safety and the comfort of the public and we  will only allow proprietors to extend their licences beyond the vehicle’s 10th  anniversary if they are in the very best condition.”

In 2008 the Licensing and Regulatory Committee changed its policy so that a  vehicle could continue to be licensed beyond the maximum age of 10 years,  provided the vehicle was able to pass the Council’s mechanical test.

Read More http://www.examiner.co.uk/

Dec 23

Ray Mallon broke rules in Middlesbrough taxis row

Ray Mallon

RAY MALLON brought his office into disrepute in the way he dealt with issues  relating to Middlesbrough’s taxis, a watchdog has ruled.

The Standards Board for England found three breaches of its code of conduct  after investigating complaints over how the mayor handled a row over the  borough’s trade.

But the board has ruled no sanctions should be applied.

And it cleared Mr Mallon over secretly-recorded conversations with Boro Cars  boss Mohammed Bashir, in which the mayor made an insulting reference regarding  the sex life of a female council official.

That is because the Standards Board concluded he was acting as a private  individual at the time.

The Standards Board upheld complaints that Mr Mallon:

Brought his office or authority into disrepute, and

Failed to declare a personal interest when required to do so on two separate  occasions.

But the watchdog dismissed allegations that he:

Failed to treat others with respect;

Compromised the impartiality of council officers, and

Used his position improperly to confer an advantage.

A report found the relationship between Mr Mallon and Mr Bashir had been that  of “close associate”.

It was at Mr Bashir’s request that the mayor became personally involved in  matters relating to the borough’s taxi trade – particularly in trying to resolve  a row between Boro Cars and the local hackney carriage trade over access to  Morrisons at Berwick Hills.

The report states Mr Mallon’s involvement gave Mr Bashir access to senior  officers he might not otherwise have had without that “close association”.

But it adds there was no evidence to suggest Mr Mallon tried to influence  officers into making a particular decision or favour one side over another  during the period.

The Standards Board found the mayor breached the Code when he failed to  declare an interest in the taxi trade during two Executive meetings.

But the report states he was “consistently open” in referencing his  association with Mr Bashir in the first – and that the “sheer chaos” surrounding  the second made it understandable he did not do so.

“The ethical standards officer took into account that Mr Mallon accepted he  should have declared an interest on both occasions,” the board added.

The standards officer also looked at complaints surrounding the  secretly-taped telephone conversations. It cleared Mr Mallon of breaching the  code by:

Making disrespectful comments about a female council officer;

Lying about having apologised to that council officer, and

Making unsubstantiated comments relating to illegal charging by Asian taxi  drivers and referred to taxi drivers as “thick”.

“The ethical standards officer found Mr Mallon had apologised to the council  officer for the comments that were subsequently published in the press,” the  report adds.

“As such, he did not lie about the matter.”

The Standards Board found the comments were part of a private conversation  and that Mr Mallon was not acting in his official capacity as mayor at the  time.

The investigating officer took into account his right to a private life and  found that, in the conversations, he had not been conducting the business of the  authority.

The views expressed were Mr Mallon’s private opinions, she ruled.

But she also found that the mayor had brought his office into disrepute over  actively seeking to assist Mr Bashir in a court case against the council as he  came under “pressure” to try to get the dispute resolved.

“While she considered Mr Mallon lacked judgment in this regard, she does not  doubt that his intentions were to get the taxi dispute resolved in a fair and  equitable manner,” adds the report. “The ethical standards officer has decided  no further action needs to be taken.”

Mr Mallon today told the Gazette that his interventions were “well-intentioned” and that he found it “ironic” he was found to have been in  breach of the Code for “attempting to assist one of the complainants”.

“The fact that they (the Standards Board) feel there is no need for further  action confirms that these were technical breaches,” added the mayor.

“Had they not been, there is little doubt I would have faced a full  hearing.

“I hope this judgment now draws a line under this chapter and we can move  forward for the good of the town and its taxpayers.”

Nobody from Boro Cars was available for comment today.

Read More http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/

Dec 23

‘No’ to licence for cab driver

A former professional footballer was involved in  inappropriate conversation with  15-year-olds  who he was taking to school.

Keith Mercer, 56, who played as a striker for Blackpool and Watford, lost  his appeal against a decision to withdraw his taxi driver’s licence.

Mercer of Arundel Drive, Poulton, drove for a company which had a contract to take children to and from schools.

Mercer’s licence was withdrawn following a complaint about his conduct.

It was said that during one trip to St Annes he showed three 15-year-old boys an inappropriate mobile phone message.

He then had a conversation with the young passengers concerning a sexual practice.

Trevor Colebourne, who represented Wyre Council, the taxi licensing authority, said one of the boys mentioned what had happened to his parents who then complained to the school headteacher.

This resulted in a formal complaint to the taxi company.

Mr Colebourne said drivers of the company had to undergo the highest level of criminal records scrutiny before being allowed to carry unaccompanied youngsters.

He  said some of the youngsters had learning difficulties which made them vulnerable.

Mr Colebourne added: “The  nub of this case is Mr Mercer is not a  fit and proper person to be driving  young boys around and discussing such topics.”

Representing himself Mercer said he had been a taxi driver for 16 years after his football career ended.

He told the magistrates: “I am being picked on by Wyre Council. I did not show the boys anything on my mobile phone. However I do admit sharing a joke with them.”

“You cannot have boys of this age in your cab for hours at a time without talking to them.”

“I feel I am being persecuted for one error – a joke.

“These boys use far worse language than I do.”

He added: “All I want to do is clear my name.”

Magistrates ordered Mercer to pay £400 costs.

source: http://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/

Dec 23

16 out of 28 Swansea taxis defective

Over 130 taxis were stopped checked during a joint police and local authority operation in Cardiff and Swansea city centres.

Officers from the South Wales Police Commercial Vehicle Unit, in conjunction with local authority Taxi Licensing Officers, have been conducting safety checks on taxis during the last fortnight to ensure vehicles are fit to escort passengers over the busy festive season.

Chief Superintendent Cliff Filer, the Force Head of Specialist Operations, said: “It is a cause for concern that 16 out of the 28 taxis stop-checked in Swansea city centre were issued with immediate prohibitions for having defective vehicles.

“These prohibitions ranged from defective lights, to defective tyres where cord and ply were exposed, and tread well below the legal limit.

“Last year’s winter weather caused hazardous driving conditions, and with the heavy rainfall this year, it is imperative that we, together with our partners within Local Authority licensing team, do what we can to ensure the roadworthiness of our communities’ cabs.”

The checks in the Welsh cities included lights, tyres, first aid kits and fire extinguishers, and the drivers authenticated by checking their licence badges.

In Cardiff, 23 drivers were issued with deferred suspensions, requiring them to make prompt repairs to defects on their vehicles.

22 verbal warnings were also issued, including warnings for drivers who failed to appropriately display their identification.

Chief Superintendent Filer added: “We regularly run taxi safety operations and it is unacceptable that some drivers are still failing to adequately maintain their vehicles.

“These are professional drivers, and ensuring the safety and roadworthiness of their vehicles must be paramount. Defective vehicles put themselves, their passengers and other road users in danger.

“We had a really warm response from the public during the operation, and work will continue throughout the force area with our partners including the taxi drivers associations in the New Year.”

source: http://www.newswales.co.uk/

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