New standards to improve safety for taxi and PHV passengers
New licensing standards have been introduced by the Government for the taxi and private hire vehicle sector across England and Wales to protect passengers, including for app-based travel.
Effective immediately, the new Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards are designed to improve consistency in the licensing system, reducing the risk of harm posed to children and vulnerable passengers in the process.
The new standards, which local authorities will be expected to implement, include criminal record checks for drivers every six months as well as safeguarding training to help drivers identify and respond to passengers that may be being abused or exploited. A recommendation for licensing authorities to consider whether the use of CCTV would be beneficial or proportionate in their areas is also included, which sets out that potential privacy issues must be taken into account.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said more must be done to protect passengers from those who abuse their position of trust.
“That’s why we’re looking to licensing authorities to enforce these rigorous new standards, ensuring drivers are fit to transport passengers in a safe environment and to stop those who aren’t,” he continued.
“We expect all licensing authorities to implement the standards and won’t hesitate to introduce legislation if they don’t fulfil their responsibilities to keep the public safe.”