Xmas warning over bogus taxis

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Xmas warning over bogus taxis

Revellers in Rother are being urged to be on their guard for bogus taxi drivers this Christmas.

Rother District Council's annual campaign, running under the slogan 'No badge, no plate = No ride', warns people not to jeopardise their safety by taking a ride with unlicensed operators.

Properly licensed taxis have annual insurance checks and a full-twice yearly mechanical inspection, while drivers must pass regular medical and criminal record checks.

The campaign encourages people to check that both taxi and driver are properly licensed, the car bears the required markings and the driver carries the required photo identification badge.

Licensed taxis have markings including yellow licence badges for private hire vehicles, which must be pre-booked, and white badges and a roof sign for Hackney carriages, which can be hailed in the street.

Cllr Chris Saint, chairman of the council's licensing and general purposes committee, said: "It's all too tempting if you've had a few Christmas drinks and want to get home to jump into the first taxi you see.

"However, to do so is to put your safety at risk as unlicensed taxis may be uninsured or unroadworthy, while there's no guarantee that the driver is a fit and proper person to be carrying passengers.

"Bogus taxi operators not only play fast and loose with people's safety, they also deprive reputable local taxi firms of their livelihood.

"Only licensed Hackney carriages are allowed to pick up passengers at taxi ranks or be hailed in the street, so people should be especially wary of any other cars offering this service.

"By taking a few seconds to check that their vehicle and driver are properly licensed, people can make sure they have a safe and happy Christmas - and support responsible, bona fide local taxi firms."

More information on how to recognise different types of licensed taxi operating in Rother is available online at www.rother.gov.uk/article/7312/Guidance-for-Passengers

Would you know how to spot a licensed taxi?

Hackney carriages (can be hailed in the street):
- Display a white roof sign, white licence badges on both rear doors and a white licence plate on the rear of the vehicle
- Have a meter which is activated as the driver pulls away and must display a copy of the council's tariff card 

Private hire vehicles (must be pre-booked):
- Display yellow licence badges on the rear doors and a yellow licence plate on the rear of the vehicle

For both types of taxi:
- Rear licence plates carry the vehicle registration number, licence expiry date and number of passengers the vehicle is licensed to carry
- Licensed drivers are issued with a photographic identification badge which must be clearly visible on their person or displayed in the front windscreen

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