Cabbies could face conduct points system in Northamptonshire under new rules

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Cabbies in Northamptonshire could be struck off if they get enough penalty points for misdemeanours, new rules are proposing.

South Northants Council adopted a draft policy to tighten regulations on its private taxi and Hackney carriage licences during it’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Among the measures the authority is looking at introducing a points system for cabbies “to keep track of infringements.”

The council says it would be “empowered to revoke licences in cases of serious or repeated offences” if the draft policy is enacted.

It also proposes to tighten up how it approves new driver licences - particularly if the applicant has criminal offences - and trains existing cabbies.

Director for operational delivery for the council, Ian Davies, said: “Taxi and private hire trade has an important role to play in helping people get around the district.

“The purpose of this policy is to ensure that those using taxis have a safe, reliable and pleasant experience.”

The policy, if enacted, would introduce “mandatory safeguarding training” for existing cabbies to make drivers more “alert to the risks that passengers face.”

A fit and proper person test would vet would-be drivers.

Applications from those convicted of the most serious offences will be refused altogether and the period of good behaviour required from applicants with spent convictions for lesser offences has been increased from three to 10 years.

The Cherwell and South Northamptonshire Council Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Licensing Policy takes into account recommendations from the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board following reports into child sexual exploitation in Oxfordshire and in Rotherham.

Plans to introduce a similar system in Leicester led to a drivers’ strike, which brought the town centre to a standstill.