A Crawley man has been successfully prosecuted by Mid Sussex District Council after operating illegally in the District as a private hire driver.
Mr Raja Masood from London Road in Crawley, was prosecuted for plying for hire without a Hackney licence, which meant his vehicle was uninsured. Mr Masood was found guilty on 8 January 2018 at Brighton Magistrates Court.
Mr Masood is a Private Hire driver licensed by Wealden District Council. As a private hire driver he can only take passengers that are pre-booked, otherwise he is plying for hire and his vehicle insurance would not be valid for that trip.
A Mid Sussex District Council Licensing Officer witnessed Mr Masood dropping off a customer at East Grinstead Railway Station; he then picked up another member of the public. Enquires by the Licensing Team revealed that this customer was not pre-booked.
Mr Masood was interviewed and admitted that the passenger was not pre-booked. He was prosecuted by Mid Sussex District Council, six penalty points were added to his Driving Licence and the Council was awarded total costs of £1500.
Councillor Norman Webster, Cabinet Member for Community said:
“Mid Sussex Council takes passenger safety very seriously. The laws and licensing standards that we enforce are in place to ensure that passengers are safe.
“People should be aware that if they use private hire vehicles without booking in advance then the vehicle will not be insured if an accident occurs.
“Each vehicle is required to have its licence on display and drivers invariably carry identification, which passengers can inspect.
"Residents can help by checking the private hire vehicle they are using to make sure it is fully licensed by the District Council".