Uninsured taxi driver prosecuted
An uninsured taxi driver was ordered to pay fines and costs of more than £2,000 by Holyhead Magistrates on Wednesday, January 27th.
Eric Thomas, 57, of Rhos Llwyn Estate, Llangefni, pleaded guilty to seven charges for offences under the Road Traffic Act 1988, Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
Mr Thomas was ordered to pay a total of £2,095 in fines and costs as well as a £25 victim surcharge, and received six penalty points to his driver’s licence.
On December 24th 2014, Anglesey Trading Standards were notified that the insurance on Mr Thomas’ executive hire black Mercedes had been cancelled. Mr Thomas claimed the vehicle was not in use.
However, during a routine check by licensing enforcement officers on March 5th 2015, the vehicle in question, driven by Mr Thomas, was found parked near Taxis at Holyhead Railway Station. In accordance with licensing conditions, Mr Thomas was repeatedly asked to produce a valid certificate of insurance for the vehicle but failed to do so.
All vehicles offered for hire or reward with the services of a driver must be licensed and must have valid insurance for the category of ‘hire or reward’, regardless what they are being used for at the time.
Licensed vehicles are regularly open to spot checks by licensing enforcement officers to ensure compliance with licensing conditions and that valid insurance is in place. Failing to produce a certificate of insurance on request is a criminal offence. Having insufficient insurance on Taxis pose a risk to potential customers and other road users as such vehicles are unlikely to be covered in the event of an accident.
Anglesey’s Chief Public Protection Officer, David Riley, welcomed the court’s decision. He explained, “Although there’s temptation for businesses to make savings wherever possible in these difficult financial times, reducing the level of insurance on a licensed vehicle will not be tolerated. The significantly higher cost of ‘hire and reward’ category of insurance reflects the higher risk posed by commercial vehicles which carry passengers and spend significantly more time on the roads. Whether carrying passengers or being used for a private errand, it must be insured as a commercial vehicle for ‘hire & reward’.
Planning and Public Protection portfolio holder, Councillor Richard Dew, added, “Anyone operating a taxi should take notice that safety is paramount and our officers will continue to work to ensure taxis operated on Anglesey comply with licensing conditions and are correctly insured.”
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