Fine for rogue taxi driver
A County Durham man who used an unlicensed vehicle to transport children to school without appropriate insurance has been ordered to pay over £450 and given six points.
We took legal action after receiving information that a company named Shoey's Taxis was using an unlicensed vehicle to take children to and from school.
Officers visited the school in March to check if this was correct and stopped a vehicle driven by Alan Robertson, of Jubilee Road, Shildon, who was there to pick up two pupils.
The vehicle was not licensed by us as a private hire vehicle and the 61-year-old admitted that he was aware of this.
Driving without appropriate insurance
He was then sent a letter on 1 April, asking for a copy of insurance documents. These revealed that the vehicle was not insured for hire purposes and that Robertson was not named on the policy.
During an interview with the council in May, Robertson confirmed that he had borrowed the vehicle to complete the home to school contract. He claimed this was because the licensed vehicle he would normally use wasn't fit to drive.
Robertson failed to attend Peterlee Magistrates Court, so the case was heard in his absence.
Magistrates fined him £120 and ordered him to pay £314.50 in costs and a £34 victim surcharge. Six points were also added to his licence because the vehicle was not appropriately insured.
Duty to protect the public
Owen Cleugh, our public protection manager, said: "We take our duty to protect the public incredibly seriously. All taxis and private hire vehicles are checked to ensure they are roadworthy and properly insured before they are licensed.
"We hope this case acts as a deterrent to anyone else considering operating without the correct licence and insurance. Using an unlicensed vehicle puts passengers at risk as no checks have been made and this will not be tolerated."