How will your night end???
Back in 2014, clause 10 was dropped from the deregulation bill that went through parliament.
This would reflect the view that all over the UK, (except in London according to TfL) there is a massive public safety issue, and that only licensed private hire drivers should be driving licensed private hire vehicles.
Unfortunately for the traveling public in London, TfL say that anyone can drive a private hire minicab around the capital, whether they are licensed as a PH driver or not.
This includes people who just want to avoid paying the congestion charge, but also, (and even more worrying) dangerous sexual predators looking for fresh prey, can purchase a minicab, complete with TfL licence roundels, without holding a PH driver's or operator's licence and in the case of sexual predators, go straight out and look for fresh victims.
Taxi drivers have to have a purpose built vehicle, carrying both a registration number plate from the DVLA and also a TfL Hackney Carriage plate, plus we are also required to have our badge number emblazoned on the ID card identifying the driver.
Acting as a Minicab driver, is the most favoured method of a sexual predictor (according to Rachel Griffin of the Susie Lamplugh trust). Currently, TFL's Minicabs are only required to have an unreadable yellow disc, in most cases obscured by blacked out windows.
Considering the security status we currently find ourselves in, it should be imperative that only TfL registered drivers should be allowed to drive minicabs.
The drivers of minicabs should themselves be identifiable and should be matchable to a particular vehicle by means of their badge number, clearly displayed on front and rear windows.
If TfL can mandate Credit Cards in all London Taxis, then they must be able to mandate that licensed Minicabs can only be sold to TfL licensed PH drivers, with the caveat that any person driving a minicab must hold a PH licence.
This won't stop the attacks and rapes but it will make identifying the attacker easier.
Silent Sadiq Khant:
Our hypocrite of a Mayor, the one who refuses to meet with the Taxi trade orgs has recently written to the Home Secretary demanding more resources to protect against "marauding terrorist attacks".
And yet Under Khan, TfL and the Met turn a blind eye to TfL registered minicabs (which could be bought and driven by anyone) parked up and waiting at all major mainline stations.
TfL recently announced that PH driver numbers exceeded 117,000.
A recent FOI request has shown that Sexual assaults including rapes in just Uber cars, has increased from 32, by a record 50% to 48 on the previous year. That's almost 1 a week.
Assuming Uber are no worse than other PH drivers, and currently make up approx 20% of the PH trade, going on the law of average, there could be many serious sexual attacks weekly across London.
On top of this, you also have the unlicensed predators.
Yet our licensing authority seem more concerned with Taxi drivers, over ranking at main line stations!!!
Compliance teams regularly turn a blind eye to PH and in many cases are regularly overstepping their authority.
Taxi Leaks have recently received a number of complaints from drivers who say they have been told by COs at Euston, they are going to be reported for wearing their badges on lanyards that are too long.
So it's ok for a terrorist to park outside a major rail link, but Taxi drivers mustn't wear their lanyards too long!!!
Since when have TFL's COs become fashion police?
Could someone from TfLTPH please show me where in the legislation or regulations it gives the required length of Lanyards because I can't find it in any Hackney carriage act of in the Abstract of Law.
Many COs are refusing to show drivers their authorisation ID cards, after showing the driver just their sherif style badge (they are legally obliged to show their ID).
Drivers have also been asked to unscrew their insurance cover notes so COs can examine more closely.
This is totally ridiculous behaviour from TFL's COs and totally unacceptable.
Remember, always ask to see a COs authorisation card and photograph it with your phone (you have the right to do this). Should the CO refuse, then do not comply with any of his/her requests.
Also, if asked to sign their hand held PDA, you have the right to refuse.
The training given to these officers from TfL is inefficient and woefully inadequate. Most of this new batch of COs haven't got a clue what act or regulation they are supposedly trying to enforce.
Photo and comment by Alex White (LCDC)
Here another one from today