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Safety blitz targets taxis at NEC

Nearly 150 vehicles were stopped and inspected in a multi-agency road check operation which was carried out on Monday 23 August, the third operation of its kind since June 2010.

NEARLY 150 vehicles - including 82 taxis - were stopped and inspected in Solihull in a multi-agency road check blitz on Monday,  August 23.

Officers from Solihull Council, West Midlands Police, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), UK Border Agency, Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), Fire & Rescue Service, Department of Works and Pensions and the Magistrates Court were based in the NEC West Car Park.

The aim of the day was to identify motorists who were committing road traffic offences, with particular emphasis on taxi drivers who use defective vehicles or fail to comply with their licensing conditions. Of the 147 vehicles inspected on the day, 82 were taxis.

Five taxis were immediately suspended due to safety defects and a further six drivers were advised about minor problems. Four drivers received cautions for failing to comply with their licensing conditions.

Trading Standards Officers reported three drivers for using overloaded vehicles.

VOSA issued 11 prohibition notices on vehicles for various defects, such as worn tyres, damaged lights and general dangerous conditions.

The Department of Works and Pensions identified seven drivers for potential benefit fraud, whilst the Council has begun a fraud investigation in respect of potential housing benefit claims.

One vehicle was also seized for being used without insurance. Another vehicle was seized by HMRC Officers for using red diesel, with the driver having to pay an on the spot fine of £500 to secure the release of the vehicle.

All drivers that passed through the inspection site were required to produce relevant driving documents. Those unable to produce the documents will be reported for summons in due course.

The Cabinet Member for Safer Communities, Councillor Len Cresswell said: “This has proved to be another day of great partnership working. This particular operation was successful in removing potentially dangerous taxis from the roads.

“The majority of taxi drivers provide a safe and professional service to the public. However, some fail to maintain their vehicles or comply with other legal requirements. I hope this operation will send out a clear message to all taxi drivers, that we expect them to behave responsibly at all times and exercise the highest standards.”

 

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