Safety checks carried out on North Devon cabs

Joseph Bulmer

Most vehicles and their drivers pass muster in pre-Christmas spot checks.

A total of 28 North Devon taxis were subject to spot checks in the run up to Christmas – with most being given a clean bill of health.

North Devon Council licensing officers and police were on the streets of Barnstaple checking taxi safety and ensuring they were complying with regulations.

The inspection included items such as lights, tyres, tax, internal and external condition of the vehicle, required equipment such as fire extinguishers and first aid kits, meters, top lights, “for hire” badges, tariff cards and identity badges.

Most were found to be in good condition, but one was suspended for defective brake lights whilst advisory notices were also issued for one case of borderline tyres, a vehicle requiring tracking adjustment, a driver not carrying his identity badge and to others in relation to fire extinguishers and internal condition.

“These spot-checks are very important, particularly at this time of year when the roads are icy and more people are taking taxis after enjoying a few festive drinks,” said licensing committee chairman Councillor Joe Tucker.

“This is an excellent example of joint working between the two authorities with a common cause - the safety of passengers and road users.”

Motor Police Constable Paul Butler said they were pleased to find the majority were in good condition and following safety guidelines. He added: “Only a few minor offences were picked up so, all in all, it was a very successful operation. This should be reassuring news for North Devon taxi customers.”