A taxi driver has been prosecuted by Wellingborough Council for not holding an up-to-date private hire drivers licence while driving a taxi, and for not being adequately insured to carry out private hire work.
The driver, John Barry Plummer from Thirlmere, Wellingborough, was caught out by a county council transport inspector on Wednesday 8 December 2010, during a random check on all taxis collecting children from a Kettering school. Mr Plummer claimed to have left his badge at home, but his licence had actually expired in October 2009. This was reported to the licensing section of Wellingborough Council.
The defendant had failed to renew his licence when it had expired 13 months previously, so had not submitted the required Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks. A check of the insurance policy for the vehicle also revealed that the insurance was invalid if the driver didn't hold a private hire or hackney carriage licence.
The case was heard on Thursday 5 May at Wellingborough Magistrates Court and Mr Plummer pleaded guilty by post and offered no mitigation.
He was fined £350 and had his driving licence endorsed with 8 penalty points for driving without valid insurance. He was also fined £230 for driving without a private hire drivers licence and was ordered to pay full council costs of £200 and a £15 victim surcharge. The total fine was £795.
Amanda Wilcox, Principal Health Protection Manager at Wellingborough Council said: "In the interests of public safety, the council will not hesitate to prosecute unlicensed drivers and vehicles. It is hoped that this case serves as a warning to others.
"We would advise anyone using a taxi or private hire vehicle to check that the driver is displaying an up-to-date ID badge before starting the journey. Any concerns or complaints about drivers or vehicles carrying out taxi work should be directed to the council's licensing section."