The best tweet of 2015 so far comes from the Surrey Traffic Police who tweet under the name of @surreyroadcop.
Apparently they have seized a Private Hire Vehicle on rout to Gatwick. The vehicles reg came up on their computer as being uninsured. When stopped it became clear the driver does not hold a private hire licence, has no insurance and doesn't even have a current driving licence.
When asked by drivers on Twitter if seized vehicles are crushed or sold on at police auctions, they replied they are normally returned. But whoever picks up the vehicle must obviously hold a current licence, have valid insurance to drive the vehicle and be able to pay all costs incurred.
Surrey Police told Taxi Leaks, they are now in contact with TfL in regards to the vehicle's identifiers which in this case are expired. We were also assured that if found to be stolen, further charges would follow. It could not be confirmed if the driver was in possession of an a Uber MeterPhone.
As we've said before on this blog many times, TfL have to stop PHV (and licensed Taxis) being sold on to private owners, fully plated and licensed. We need to return to the system of change of ownership inspections.
There is a flourishing market for expired Taxi plates and identifiers current and expired. This is able to take place because there is no requirement for the driver to return plates or Identifiers when they expire as used to be the case under the met.
We've just had an upgrade of Taxi YB/GB identifiers, where drivers were told to dispose of the old IDs themselves. The question should now be asked, was this decision the right decision or made simply to save money?
Many images have appeared on Twitter, from drivers spotting expired plated Taxis. Unfortunately, it's impossible to spot the expiry date of a minicab.
TfL have made no effort or statement in regards to this issue, probably because if there are no seizures of plates/vehicles, there are no statistics, therefore there is no problem.
We have in the past been informed that seizure of PHVs driven by unlicensed drivers in Central London is very rare. This is not because this offence is few and far between, but the acute failure in TfL and the Met Police enforcement, which has recently been branded by the GLA as "woefully inadequate".
While hackney carriage laws are set in stone and vigorously enforced, PHV regulations are seen to be a joke, overseen by a joke licensing authority.
It would be quite funny, if not so serious.
Due to TfLs enforcement failures the public are being constantly exposed to danger. The culture of predator based sexual assault including rape are a direct result of this inaction.
This situation needs changing sooner rather than later.
Why are our trade representatives in the "United Trade Group" not screaming on high about this disgraceful issue.
Is it because the puppets don't want to upset their puppet-masters?
Don't forget, stop the subscriptions and make them earn their money.