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Introduction of Penalty Points scheme for Taxi Drivers - to operate from 01st April 2017

Start Date

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

End Date

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Consultation purpose

Introduction

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Operators, Drivers and Vehicles are principally governed by the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, Town Police Clauses Act 1847, Council’s Byelaws and the Rules, Regulations and Conditions set by the Licensing Committee.

Mid Sussex DC are consulting about the introduction of a Penalty Points Scheme for Taxi Drivers.

The aim of a penalty point scheme is to work in conjunction with other enforcement options. It provides a formalised stepped enforcement plan. The purpose of the scheme is to record misdemeanours and to act as a record of driver’s behaviour and conduct so as to ascertain whether they are a fit and proper person. It does not prejudice the Council’s ability to take other actions.

The primary objective of the penalty points scheme is improve the levels of compliance and help improve the standards, safety and protection of the travelling public.

How will it work?

If Operators, Drivers or Proprietors of Vehicles commit an offence or breach rules, regulations or conditions of licence, the persons involved are asked to attend the Council offices for an interview and then once investigations are completed, letters are sent out detailing the outcome and a permanent record kept on the persons’ file.

The outcome of investigations may result in no further action being taken, penalty points being awarded, a formal warning, referral to the Licensing Committee and/or prosecution.

Penalty points remain for twenty four months. The period is on a roll forward basis, so as to allow any older points to be considered as spent and therefore excluded from the running total recorded against any individual licensee.

Penalty Points will remain current for 24 months from the date the penalty points were issued. Points issued to either the proprietor of a vehicle or a driver will be confirmed in writing normally within 10 working days from the discovery of the contravention.

Where a licensee accumulates 12 penalty points in any 24 month period, the matter will be referred to the Council’s Licensing Committee for it  to consider whether the driver is a fit and proper person. The Committee may then suspend or revoke a licence, or issue a warning to the Licensee, depending upon the circumstances. Periods of suspension of a licence by a Panel will be dependent on the nature of the breaches of the legislation/conditions and the compliance history of the individual. Suspension periods will normally vary between 7 to 31 days

Disputes regarding the issuing of penalty points will be referred to the Licensing Committee who will have discretion to award a greater number of points than displayed on the tariff, if the complaint is upheld. Drivers must appeal any points issued by Officers to the Licensing Committee within 21 days.

The system will operate without prejudice to the Council’s ability to take other action that it is entitled to take under legislation, byelaws and regulations.

If points are issued to a proprietor/driver for a matter which is also a criminal offence, e.g. bald tyres, no badge, those person(s) will not then be the subject of a prosecution by the Council.

 

 

 

Details of the misconduct

Points

Applicable

Driver

Vehicle Owner or Operator

1

Providing false or misleading information on licence application form / failing to provide relevant information or the relevant fee (including dishonoured cheques)

6-12

2

Failure to notify, in writing, the Council of change of address within 7 calendar days

3

3

Refusal to accept hiring without reasonable cause e.g. Drunk or rude customer (may be referred to the Sub-Committee)

3-12

 

4

Unreasonable prolongation of journeys or any misconduct regarding the charging of fares

6

 

5

Plying for hire by Private hire drivers

12

 

6

Using unlicensed vehicle or vehicle without insurance

12

 

7

Failure to produce relevant documents with timescale when requested by an Authorised Officer

4

8

Unsatisfactory condition of vehicle, interior or exterior

4

9

Private hire vehicle – No door signs displayed

 

3

 

10

Failure to undergo the 6 monthly Fitness Test on time

6-12

 

11

Failure to provide proof of insurance cover when requested or have a current copy in vehicle at all times

6

 

12

Failure to produce Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle for testing when required

4

 

13

Using a vehicle subject to a suspension order issued by an Authorised Officer or a police officer

12

14

Using a vehicle for which the licence has been suspended or revoked

12

15

Failure to report within 72 hours, any accident or damage to licensed vehicle, which would cause the vehicle to breach licence conditions

4

16

Carrying more passengers than stated on the vehicle licence

6

 

17

Failure to display external/internal licence or plate

4

 

18

Carrying an offensive weapon in the vehicle

12

 

19

Failure to notify transfer of Private Hire or Hackney Carriage vehicle licence

4

 

20

Failure to carry fire extinguisher

4

21

Failure to carry first aid kit

4

22

Displaying unauthorised or inappropriate sited signs or advertisements in or on the vehicle

3

 

23

Failure to use authorised roof light

3

 

24

Failure to maintain records in a suitable form of the commence and cessation of work of each driver each day

4

 

 

 

 

 

Offence/Breach of Condition

Points

Applicable

Driver

Vehicle Owner or Operator

25

Failure to produce on request records of drivers’ work activity

4

 

26

Using a non approved or non-calibrated taximeter (HC)

6

27

Obstruction of an authorised officer or police officer

12

28

Evidence of smoking in vehicle

3

 

29

Evidence of food or drink in Vehicle

3

 

30

Displaying any feature on private hire vehicle that may suggest that it is a taxi (Private Hire)

6

 

31

Using a vehicle, the appearance of which suggests that it is a Taxi

6

 

32

Failure to carry an assistance dog without requisite medical exemption certificate

12

 

33

Driver not holding a current DVLA licence

12

34

Failure to wear driver’s badge

3

 

35

Failure to notify, in writing, a change in medical circumstances

6

 

36

Unsatisfactory appearance of driver

3

 

37

Failure to observe rank discipline (HC)

3

 

38

Failure to maintain proper records of private hire vehicles and drivers

6

 

39

Failure to keep or produce records of Private Hire bookings or other documents required to be kept or produced

6

 

40

Misleading use of the words ‘Taxi’ or ‘Cab’ on advertising materials

3

 

41

Failure to return vehicle licence plate within 7 days after due notice following expiry, revocation or suspensions of such licence

4

 

42

Failure to notify the Council in writing, of any motoring or criminal convictions within 7 days or conviction or cautions during period of current licence

6

43

Failure to behave in a civil and orderly manner (may be referred to Sub-Committee)

1-12

44

Failure to display a correct tariff card (HC)

3

 


 

 

Offence/Breach of Condition

Points

Applicable

Driver

Vehicle Owner or Operator

45

Failure to carry legal spare wheel and tools or other approved run flat device

4

46

Failure to attend punctually at appointed time and place without sufficient cause

4

47

A licensed vehicle with a defective tyre

4 per tyre

48

Failure to submit licence renewal application including documents and attendance at a vehicle inspection

6

49

Failure to comply with any other conditions

3

50

Waiting or stopping on double yellow lines, or stop on private land (without the owner’s permission) unless requested by a paying customer present in the vehicle

3

 

51

Driving whilst using a non-hands free mobile phone

12

 

52

Leaving vehicle unattended on Taxi rank

3

 

53

Private hire vehicle parking on a Hackney Rank or within line of sight of a Hackney Rank or Railway Station when not picking up or dropping off passenger

3

 

54

Not having a current MOT Test Certificate

12

 

 

Contact

Mid Sussex District Council Licensing Team

Telephone

01444 477419

Email

licensing@midsussex.gov.uk

Service Area

Environment and Planning

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