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Council warns against unlicensed prom night limousines

Published Thursday, 02 May 2013

Wellingborough Council is reminding parents and teachers to check that limousines are properly licensed before booking them for this summer’s school prom season.

Bookings are expected to increase over the next few weeks as school children get ready to celebrate in style, but safety can be put at risk if vehicles, drivers and operators are not correctly licensed. The licensing process makes sure that the limousines are suitable and safe, and that drivers have undergone criminal record checks, comprehension tests and medicals. Using an unlicensed vehicle could place the children at risk from drivers who have not been adequately vetted, and if there was an accident the insurance may not cover injuries to passengers.

Large limousines that seat nine or more passengers require a public sector vehicle (PSV) operator licence from the traffic commissioner, and small limousines which seat fewer than nine passengers need to be licensed by the local authority. Officers from the council's licensing team will be carrying out checks during the prom season and will take action against any unlicensed operators, vehicles or drivers.

Amanda Wilcox, Wellingborough Council's health protection manager, said: "The last thing parents want to worry about on their child's prom night is whether their driver is approved and the car is roadworthy. We know people want to arrive at their event in style, but it's really important to make sure everything has been properly checked. We are encouraging people to confirm that the vehicle, driver and operator are correctly licensed when they book a prom night limo, and if they are in any doubt they should contact the council."

Limousines provided with a driver must be run by a licensed operator. All limousines seating up to eight passengers must be licensed by the local authority, and every driver of a limousine licensed by the local authority must hold a private hire vehicle drivers licence. Every booking must go through a licensed operator.