The festive season is here and Christmas parties and celebrations are already in full swing across the city. But at the end of the evening how will you be getting home? What do you need to do to ensure your safety?
Taxis and private hire vehicles provide a safe and convenient way to get home, particularly late at night. Vehicles and drivers licensed by Derby City Council go through rigorous checks to ensure your safety.
When using a taxi (Derby’s taxis are yellow) or booking a private hire vehicle there are a few do’s and don’ts:
- Do pick up a taxi at a designated taxi rank (or flag one down if it is free) but don’t get into any other vehicle at a taxi rank
- Do book a private hire vehicle in advance
- Do tell the private hire company if you want a vehicle licensed in Derby (some companies use vehicles and drivers licensed by other authorities and the Council cannot vouch for their safety)
- When the booked vehicle arrives do check that it is from the right company and that it is your booking
- Do check that the vehicle has a Derby City Council licence plate on the back and that the driver is wearing a badge; if they haven’t don’t get in the car
- Don’t accept a lift from an unlicensed vehicle
Whilst incidents with unlicensed vehicles are rare in Derby there has been an increase in the number of out-of-town hackney carriages undertaking work for some local private hire companies. This has arisen because of a loophole in the law and is a cause of concern to both local taxi and private hire operators and the Council.
Council Baggy Shanker, Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services, has raised these concerns with the government.
“As a licensing authority we set high standards for our licensed vehicles and drivers, carrying out regular enforcement exercises and checks. However, we have no powers to do anything with these out-of-town licence holders, so cannot provide any reassurance about their safety. Until the government addresses this legal loophole I would advise local people to only use vehicles licensed in Derby.”
Mark Keenan, manager of Western Cars in Derby refuses to employ out-of- town vehicles. He commented:
“For me, this is about public safety, and I know that I can rely on the driver and vehicle checks carried out by Derby City Council. My drivers have also passed the Derby City Council knowledge test, which is important to customers”.