NTIA welcomes stringent taxi legislation

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Safety first: new legislation for taxi drivers has gone live (credit: Getty/Mike Harrington)
Safety first: new legislation for taxi drivers has gone live (credit: Getty/Mike Harrington)

Related tags Legislation Health and safety Social responsibility

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has welcomed toughened taxi licensing legislation that will help ensure hospitality staff and customers are safer while travelling at night.

The implementation of the ‘Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Act 2022’ means councils in England are now mandated to use a national database that records taxi drivers who have had their licences removed for misconduct, which could include sexual harassment, abuse and poor driving.

NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said: “We support the Government’s move to toughen taxi Licensing, further safeguarding consumers and the workforce working at night. With tighter checks on drivers, we hope the new legislation will deter unfit taxi and private hire drivers from entering the sector.”

Important part of nightlife

Kill continued: “Taxis and private hire vehicles are an important part of the nightlife transport infrastructure in cities and towns across the UK, with the vast majority of drivers being responsible and hard-working.

“This is an important change, which we believe will go some way in ensuring we have a safer environment to work and socialise at night.”

The first part of the act came into force on 31 May 2022, requiring licensing authorities to report safeguarding and road safety concerns about drivers licensed by other authorities to the licensing authority that issued the driver’s licence, which must then consider whether to suspend or revoke the driver’s licence.

Since then, the Department for Transport has been working to put in place arrangements so the rest of the act could be brought into force. Licensing authorities will be required to use a database to record instances where taxi and PHV drivers have their licences removed, suspended or refused for misconduct. When deciding whether to grant or renew a driver licence, licensing authorities must search the database for any entry relating to the applicant.

Compulsory to use

From Thursday (27 April), using the National Anti-Fraud Network’s voluntary database to vet driver licence applicants is compulsory.

A statement written for parliament from the Department for Transport and Richard Holden MP –Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Roads and Local Transport) said the use of database across England will ensure licensing authorities have more information so they can make correct decisions, “preventing drivers who could do harm getting a license elsewhere without being challenged”.

It added: “This change will help protect passengers, and the reputations of the vast majority of drivers, from those who are unfit to hold a licence.”

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