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FIT AND PROPER


WOLVERHAMPTON PH DRIVER FINED AFTER UNDERCOVER CRACKDOWN


A PH driver was fined after picking up a fare that wasn’t pre- booked in a police and council undercover operation. Mohammed Rafiq picked up passengers in Wolverhampton centre on September 28, 2019. They asked to be taken to a hotel - but in reality were plain-clothes officers taking part in a Wolverhampton Council and West Midlands Police sting. Rafiq was fined £1,000 after admitting driving without insur- ance and taking a fare that wasn’t pre-booked. Council officers interviewed Rafiq who initially denied any wrongdoing. Rafiq, 46, from Wolverhampton, pleaded guilty to both offences when he appeared at Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court in August. He also received eight points on his licence. The matter has now been reported to Shropshire Council which currently licenses Mr Rafiq.


BLACKPOOL CABBIE SUSPENDED FOR BEING CAUGHT OUT SMOKING AGAIN


A Blackpool cabbie has had their licence suspended after being caught smoking in their taxi. According to LancsLive, the driver, who has not been named, was spotted lighting up on June 10 this year by a town hall licensing officer. Members of the council’s public protection sub-committee heard it was the third time the cabbie had been seen smok- ing in their hackney cab and previous warnings had gone unheeded. The previous transgressions had been in Septem- ber 2019 when a fixed penalty notice was issued, and July 2020 when a verbal warning was given. But following the latest incident, the driver (referred to as J.S.) was hauled before the sub-committee which ruled their licence should be suspended for four weeks. Council minutes from the meeting, setting out the decision, say: “Despite the previous interventions by the licensing ser- vice this had not deterred J.S. from continuing to smoke in their vehicle”. The driver had “expressed their regret and acknowledged that such actions were unacceptable” and told councillors: “they did not smoke in front of customers”. The smoking incidents had been their only indiscretion in more than 30 years of driving. But the sub-committee “expressed concerns over the number of occasions J.S. had been caught smoking in their licensed vehicle and noted that previous warnings from the licensing service had not been heeded. “Whilst the remorse of the driver was noted, members con- sidered the behaviour fell well below the standards expected of a licensed driver and therefore agreed to impose a four- week suspension.”


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COUNCIL AND POLICE CHECKS ON CLEETHORPES TAXI/PHV DRIVERS


Licensing officers from North East Lincolnshire Council, along with Humberside Police, carried out a series of late- night checks on taxi and PHV drivers in Cleethorpes on Saturday night 31 July. According to Gi Media, 19 roadside spot checks were under- taken to check the state of the vehicle, whether or not clear signage was in place and that the driver was in possession of their ID badge. The following findings were made: two vehicles had their plates situated in the wrong position; two vehicles were dis- playing their plate in the rear window not the rear bumper; one PHV had no number on the door sign; one vehicle had damage to its rear bumper; three vehicles had tyres very close to the legal limit and the drivers were advised and warned by the police; one HCV’s light on top of the vehicle was not working.


ALDERSHOT PH DRIVER HAS LICENCE REVOKED AFTER SPEEDING OFFENCES


An Aldershot driver has had his PH licence revoked for mul- tiple speeding offences. HampshireLive reports that Narciso Carnay previously operated under a PH licence in Rushmoor, but had it revoked after getting two more speeding fines after previously serving a driving ban for the same offence. He had been licensed to drive a PHV for nearly ten years, but had been previously disqualified from driving for six months in 2017 after getting 12 points for speeding. Carnay’s licence was suspended and he was required to complete a speed awareness course, an advanced driving course and a taxi-specific NVQ before it was reinstated in April 2018. Since the reinstatement of his licence, Carnay had received a further six points for speeding, three of which were received within less than a month of the reinstatement and only came to light when he notified the council of his second endorsement. The 50-year-old, from Aldershot, appealed against a deci- sion by Rushmoor Borough Council to revoke his licence in April 2020. At a hearing at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court on July 20, magistrates upheld the decision and also told Carnay to pay the council’s costs of £2,790.82. The council’s cabinet member for operational services, councillor Maurice Sheehan, said: “This driver had already been banned previously for speeding offences, and so we had no option but to revoke his licence when he broke the law again. We had to oppose this appeal and were therefore glad when magistrates backed our decision.”


SEPTEMBER 2021


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