Public safety in the driving seat

PUBLISHED: 12:43 09 January 2008 | UPDATED: 11:26 11 June 2010

THE law on private hire licensing is to change this month, affecting a wide range of vehicle operators throughout East Devon who must get their license up to date if they want to continue to operate. The Road Safety Act 2006 changes the law on private hir

THE law on private hire licensing is to change this month, affecting a wide range of vehicle operators throughout East Devon who must get their license up to date if they want to continue to operate.The Road Safety Act 2006 changes the law on private hire licensing, meaning any vehicle of nine or fewer seats used to convey passengers for hire, reward or profit, will have to contact East Devon District Council before Monday, January 28, when the changes come in.Those likely to be affected are operators of airport travel, chauffeur services, courtesy cars, executive hire, hospital cars, novelty vehicles, park and ride (including airport parking), pub mini buses, school contracts, stretched limousines, works contracts and volunteer driving.The new licensing rules enable the council to carry out safety checks on vehicles and suitability checks on their drivers in the interests of public safety. People hiring vehicles with drivers will be able to feel more secure in the knowledge that businesses and vehicles are licensed and the drivers have undertaken an additional driving test together with Criminal Records Bureau vetting by the council. The legal obligation is upon the vehicle operators to contact the district council and they are urged to do so as soon as possible. Businesses and drivers working whilst not properly licensed could face prosecution, with significant fines and costs. The use of unlicensed vehicles and drivers will normally invalidate most insurance certificates.Anyone who believes they may be affected and need advice are urged to contact the licensing service at East Devon District Council on (01395) 517411.

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