Taxi and private hire drivers in Aylesbury Vale will be hit with penalty points if they are found to be flouting the law or the terms of their licence under a new scheme that starts tomorrow (Friday).
The council has introduced the penalty points in an effort to improve the standards, safety and protection of the travelling public.
The points will record drivers’ behaviour and conduct to monitor if they are a fit and proper person to hold a licence.
Drivers could be penalised if they commit any of the following offences:
>Fail to wear a driver’s badge
> Fail to display a licence plate, door signs or window badge
> If they are a private hire vehicle and enter or stop in a taxi rank
> If they are a hackney carriage not displaying the tariff from within the vehicle
> Major and minor vehicle defects
If a licensed driver reaches the maximum of 12 penalty points they will have their operating licence suspended for a fixed period of time.
Councillor Judy Brandis, chairman of the licensing committee said: “We know the vast majority of hackney and private hire drivers always drive safely and provide a great service in Aylesbury Vale.
“We want residents and visitors to the district to feel safe when they use a taxi or private hire vehicle so it is crucial that standards of driving and behaviour are consistently high.
“The penalty points scheme will give our licensing officers a far greater degree of flexibility and transparency when investigating complaints or breaches of licence conditions and in administering appropriate sanctions.”
Prior to the introduction of the scheme the district council could only suspend or revoke a licence or issue a warning letter.