Taxis taken off road for failing safety checks
TAXIS have been taken off Bristol streets after checks found that they were not roadworthy.
In safety checks carried out by the council, 13 drivers had their vehicle licences suspended after their taxis failed. The local authority carried out spot checks on 72 Hackney carriages and private hire vehicles on Saturday evening.
They worked with Avon and Somerset traffic police who stopped the vehicles, which were then taken to the Bristol City Council's vehicle depot in Brislington for inspection.
The authority also worked with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency staff to carry out the unannounced checks to see if vehicles were roadworthy and met safety standards.
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The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Immigration Service were also involved in the exercise to examine the whether drivers were working legally and declaring their income.
Among the problems identified during the spot checks were five vehicles with defective tyres, two with no fire extinguisher, one with no wheelchair ramps, one with worn brake pads, one with defective lights, two with meters running fast and one with the battery terminal loose or retention bracket broken.
There are about 1,500 licensed taxis in Bristol and each must pass a scheduled safety check during the year to make sure they meet the standards set by the council's licensing laws.
Nick Carter, enforcement and regulatory services manager for the council, said: "While most taxis in Bristol are legal and safe, surprise checks like this are an effective way to remind drivers of the importance of good car maintenance. .
"We recognise the importance of the taxi trade to Bristol. The trade themselves realise the importance of exercises like this in reassuring the public our taxis are operating within the law and with due regard to the safety and comfort of passengers."