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Taxi safety checks reveal faults in nearly 40% of vehicles
4:00pm Saturday 2nd February 2013 in News
A JOINT operation to check 18 local taxis has brought disappointment for South Somerset District Council’s licensing enforcement team.
Unexpected stop checks on 18 vehicles were carried out across the district on December 7 in an initiative by Avon and Somerset Police, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, and the district council.
Two taxis were taken off the road immediately after major defects were found – a tyre below the legal minimum tread depth and a faulty seat belt clasp.
A further three vehicles were given delayed prohibition notices by VOSA for issues such as excessive smoke and mechanical problems, and a further two vehicles were given advice about faulty number plate lights.
Council licensing manager Nigel Marston said: “It was disappointing to note that the standards of vehicles on the road has deteriorated since our last checks.
“It was worrying to find a taxi with defective tyres as drivers should check these daily.
“We’ll continue to work closely with our partners at VOSA and the road policing unit to drive up the standards of taxis and private hire vehicles across the district.”
The council’s spokesman for regulatory and democratic services, Cllr Peter Seib, said: “People expect to be at least as safe in a taxi as any other public transport.
“At this time of year it becomes even more important when roads are slippery and lanes are dark.
“Plying for trade in an unsafe vehicle is just ripping people off.”