Beware Unlicensed Taxi Drivers
A WARNING has been sounded about rogue taxi drivers as the Christmas party season approaches.
Licensing chiefs at the local authority are urging people across Carmarthenshire to stay safe when they use a cab.
They fear unlicensed drivers will be cashing in as growing numbers of people need taxis over the busy festive period.
Cabbies will be in high demand over the coming weeks as partygoers decide to drink and not drive. More people are also out shopping and the cold and wet weather means less will be inclined to walk home or wait at bus stops.
Licensing officers at Carmarthenshire Council have joined forces with the police to raise awareness of the problem and to carry out joint enforcement across the county during this busy period.
Residents are being warned they are not insured if they travel in an unlicensed cab, and people are being urged to check out cars and their drivers before they get in.
Drivers should always wear identification badges and taxis are usually parked at known ranks, or their numbers can be found in various directories online.
Hackney carriages, which can be flagged down by the roadside, always have a roof sign, which is illuminated when they are available for hire.
They also display two identifying white door stickers and a white plate on the back bumper.
Taxis should display a list of fares for passengers and be fitted with meters, which should always begin with an initial charge of £2.20 before 10pm and £2.40 afterwards.
Private hire vehicles can only be pre-booked and not stopped in the street.
They carry two identifying yellow door stickers and a yellow plate on the back bumper.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Environmental and Public Protection Services Councillor Jim Jones said: “This is a very busy period for the taxi industry and there will inevitably be rogue cabbies looking to cash in.
“We want to protect the public from unscrupulous drivers and protect the reputable taxi firms in the county.”
Carmarthenshire Council Head of Housing and Public Protection Robin Staines said: “This time of year is popular for shopping, parties and visiting people.
“Alcohol and driving is a lethal combination and many people take advantage of the taxi service.
“But people should check that the taxi is licensed and reputable before they get in. If you travel in an unlicensed cab you will not be insured. We are urging people to be on their guard.”
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