Taxi drivers could face tougher security checks to protect passengers

February 12, 2019

Taxi and minicab drivers could have to pass more detailed criminal record checks in a bid to boost passenger safety.

A consultation looking at licensing guidelines for councils is being launched by the Department for Transport (DfT).

One of the measures being examined is a recommendation for all drivers to have an enhanced criminal record and background check before they can start working.

The government has pledged to introduce national minimum standards for drivers and to establish a national licensing database.

Restricting the practise of drivers operating hundreds of miles away from where they are licensed is also being examined.

In a move that would protect both drivers and passengers, transport bosses are also considering whether the vehicles should be fitted with CCTV.

Any footage would only be accessed if a crime is reported, with an encrypted system put in place to ensure this.

The consultation will run until 22 April.

Taxis minister Nusrat Ghani said: "While the vast majority of drivers are safe and act responsibly, we have seen too many cases where taxi and minicab drivers have used their job to prey on vulnerable people, women and children.

"These rules would make sure that drivers are fit to carry passengers, keeping people safe while stopping those with bad intentions from getting behind the wheel of a taxi or minicab."

Minicab app Uber lost its licence in London over safety concerns, but judges granted a short-term operating licence in June 2018.

This safety consultation comes less than three months after black cab rapist John Worboys was forced to remain in prison after losing his Parole Board review.

The 61-year-old was found guilty in 2009 of attacking 12 women.

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