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2 February 2011, 16:06 | Updated: 16 February 2011, 12:30
More than a third of taxis stopped by police in Hitchin and Letchworth last weekend had defects that breached their licensing conditions.
The proactive checks were carried out by the Road Policing Unit between 10pm and 12am on Friday, January 28, in and around the town centres.
Thirty one taxis were checked in total – of these, thirteen had committed breaches of their licensing conditions.
Two of the taxis had their North Herts licences suspended – both were not carrying the required fire extinguisher. One had a defective tyre and the other a defective brake light respectively.
Five of the drivers were given advice because their vehicles had tyres that were just on the legal limit of the amount of tread they had – they were told to get the tyres changed as soon as possible.
Two others taxis had a defect on a light and expired fire extinguisher respectively. Both were given warnings to get them fixed.
A further two drivers were warned for not having their badges displayed in a prominent position.
Two other drivers, licensed by other authorities, were also stopped. One, from Luton, had a defective tyre and the driver was given three penalty points on his licence and a £60 fine.
A taxi from Stevenage also didn’t have a fire extinguisher on board so his licence was also suspended.
Police Sergeant Neil Emmerson said: “These drivers make a living out of carrying members of the public in their vehicles. It’s crucial that these drivers regularly check their vehicles over and ensure they are compliant with their licensing conditions and that they are safe for the public to be carried in.
“We will be carrying out further checks in North Herts and other areas in the near future.”
Cllr Bernard Lovewell, North Herts District Council Portfolio Holder for Housing and Environmental Health said: “We welcome these proactive checks by the police, as combined with regular enforcement activity from NHDC officers, this helps to ensure that standards are maintained and residents are kept safe.”