Call for Government to close legal loophole in the interests of mini bus passengers' safety
Boro Taxis has written to Transport Minister Baroness Kramer calling for a legal loophole, which could put vulnerable young people at risk, to be closed.
The concern of Boro Taxis, the largest taxi firm in Tees Valley, centres on the lack of scrutiny of drivers employed by private hire firms to drive mini buses with more than eight seats.
Unlike private hire drivers, these mini bus drivers are not obliged to undergo a rigorous and comprehensive criminal check via the Disclosure and Debarring Service (DBS).
They only have to declare any criminal offences on an application form to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and the danger is that they may not make a full disclosure.
Boro Taxis believe that the regulation of these mini buses used for private hire purposes and the drivers of those minibuses should fall under the jurisdiction of the taxi licensing regime under the control of Local Authorities.
The welfare and safety of customers is paramount to Boro Taxis and even though not legally obliged to do so Boro Taxis does carry out advanced DBS checks on all mini bus drivers.
Christine Bell, Company Secretary of Boro Taxis, said: “The contention is that the DVSA do not carry out a DBS check as part of the application process for mini bus drivers and the applicant should declare their offences but if they don’t, nobody is any the wiser.
“The DBS helps employers and taxi licensing authorities make safer recruitment decisions and prevents unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children.
“We strongly believe that the same scrutiny that relates to all taxi and private hire drivers should also apply to mini bus drivers working for taxi firms.
“The simplest way for this loophole to be closed would be for the licensing of private hire vehicles from 4 -8 seats, licensed by Local Authorities, to be extended to 17 seats. This would then mean that the driver of those vehicles would also be licensed by Local Authorities and therefore subject to a DBS check
“Boro Taxis has written to the Transport Minister Baroness Kramer to bring our concerns and solution to her attention.”
Taxi and Private Hire drivers are licensed with the local authorities, who must determine whether or not an applicant is a ‘fit and proper person’ before granting a licence and a DBS check is part of that application process.
NEWS RELEASE: ISSUED ON BEHALF OF BORO TAXIS
CONTACT: Helen Logan on 01325 363436
Notes to Editors:
Boro Taxis was founded by Mohammed Bashir in 1982 with three cars.
Today the company has a fleet of about 750 vehicles, provides employment for almost 900people in Tees Valley and handles between 70,000 and 80,000 jobs per week.
All of Boro Taxis’ private hire drivers are licensed with the relevant Licensing Authorities undergo National Vocational Qualification 2 training in Road Passenger Vehicle Driving.« Back