Saturday, March 16, 2013

Airport Transfers And Taxi Safety UK

safety in airport transfer taxis

Licensed taxis and private hire vehicles are generally a very safe way to travel in the UK, but is the car you are about to get into one of them?

Beware when booking an unknown taxi or airport transfer company via the internet. Recent times have seen an increase in illegal or unlicensed companies or individuals touting for business on the web. 

They an be found all over the internet, some use the paid for links that appear in search results on the right hand side of the results pages, or at the top with a slightly shaded background (As illustrated).

I must state that not all these are illegal companies, but some of them are. 
If a company appears in the organic links, the ones we highlight in green, these are companies who have not paid to be there, but appear because they are relevant to your search request, and in our opinion are a safer choice.
Our purpose is to make you aware of this and to give you general guidance of how to stay safe in an airport transfer taxi.

Suzy Lamplugh Trust’s longest running campaign has been for the licensing of the operators and drivers of minicabs. Every year hundreds of crimes including many rapes and sexual assaults are linked to illegal and unlicensed minicab drivers.

Why are they safe?

Vehicles are regularly tested by the local authorities and required to meet minimum standards and will have appropriate insurance checks.

Drivers are tested (for medical and criminal issues)checks are done by the local council as well as the police before being licensed to drive a taxi or private hire vehicle.

If you do book an unlicensed car from the airport and the police stop the vehicle, they will terminate the journey and you will be expected to carry on your journey with alternative transport at your own cost.

Make sure your taxi or private hire vehicle is legal.

Using unlicensed vehicles puts you at unnecessary risk.

What's the difference between taxis / private hire vehicles?

    Taxis - can be hired immediately from a rank or by hailing.

    Private Hire - MUST be pre-booked through a licensed operator.

How do I know if a vehicle / driver is licensed?

Ask to see proof of licensing:

A licensed vehicle will normally display a licence plate (these can be on the front or rear of the vehicle) which will include the licensing authority, the licence number and the vehicle registration number.

A licensed driver will wear an identity badge, which will show the drivers licence number and licensing authority details to ether with a photo i.d.

All drivers should wear a photographic identity badge at all times

If your taxi doesn't display these stickers and plate, DON'T GET IN!

Stay Safe:

Make a note of the number plate and driver's licence number and if uneasy text them to a friend / family.

Sit in the back of the vehicle and behind the driver if possible.
Keep your mobile phone in your hand or within easy reach.
Report any concerns to the licensing authority (your local council) or the airport authorities where you got into the taxi.

Do not use a cab if:    the driver appears to be under the influence of alcohol    the driver does not seem to know the local area    the vehicle seems to be too old for use as a cab    the vehicle is in a state of disrepair    you are uneasy for any your own instincts AND STAY SAFE

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