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If you regularly take advantage of taxi service in Huddersfield, you need to be aware that drivers are prepared to strike any time within the next six weeks to protest a new regulation they say threatens their livelihoods. The regulation, which is part of a revised policy proposed by Kirklees Council, calls for the immediate suspension of a cabbie’s driving licence with the accumulation of nine points. The individual would not be allowed to drive again until passing a special ‘enhanced’ test.

The Kirklees Hackney Association maintains the law unfairly targets taxi drivers. It also says that violators could lose their livelihoods while waiting for the opportunity to take a new DVSA test. As you know, it can take months to arrange a test at an approved facility. In the meantime, drivers unable to work would have no income. The association says there is not enough employment to begin with; further jeopardising driver livelihoods with what it calls a ‘draconian’ proposal that would only make the situation worse.

The council has not yet made a final determination on the new policy. However, council members are far from united. One camp believes the licence suspension is much too harsh while the other camp believes it is well deserved. Those in support of the policy say the accumulation of nine points demonstrates a taxi driver is not complying with the law and, therefore, cannot be trusted to safely carry passengers in Huddersfield.

Most taxi operators in the UK do not need either a PSV or PCV licence to operate their vehicles. Rather, they are regulated by the individual licencing schemes in their local areas. This is why Kirklees Council is able to create and impose the new policy. However, the rest of the transport industry is not exempt from all restrictions.

Companies routinely set standards of their own that all drivers are expected to adhere to. For example, drivers working for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service can have no more than three points on their licences. Furthermore, a local haulage firm official interviewed by the Huddersfield Daily Examiner said his company would not employ anyone with more than six points on a lorry license. Given these policies, the proposal offered in Kirklees seems reasonable.

Points Mean Problems

The reality is that points mean problems in the haulage and transport industries. Accumulating points on your licence is always the result of violating the law while behind the wheel. Just one violation is cause for concern, but multiple violations demonstrate a driver’s unwillingness to abide by the law. Is that the kind of driver a company owner or fleet manager wants operating his or her vehicles? Certainly not.

One of the things we do here at the HGV Training Centre is continually remind our students of safety and legal compliance issues. Needless to say, we take our responsibility to students seriously. If you are looking to earn a PSV or PCV licence to work as a professional, contact us today.

Sources:

  1. Huddersfield Examiner – https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/huddersfield-taxi-drivers-hold-wildcat-7954447

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