I Love Taxi Drivers

Ok I don’t really, the majority of my worst incidences have been with taxi drivers and they seem to be invincible! From my experience the police pass any reports to the PCO and the PCO hold their hands up and say it’s up to the police to sort it out.

The public carriage office in its current state is a bit of a shambles, I have been provided a small amount of inside knowledge from someone who was involved with the PCO from a day-to-day basis on a professional level. I won’t go into detail at present, it would be a very long post but the end result is taxi drivers in London are basically untouchable and a few of them act as if they know that.

I’ve reported various incidences of varying degrees to the PCO, in every case I’ve not had a positive response, most of them result in a ‘It’s not our job to the police the roads’ and a few result in ‘we can’t view youtube videos so it’s your word against theirs’. It normally ends there, they are very understaffed and just don’t have time to look into these cases in enough detail.

I’ve tried reporting it to the Police but the MET handed over regulation and licensing of hackney carriages to TFL in 2000 and they seem to try to push the reports on TFL/PCO.

So far I’ve gotten not a single result from anything that has happened with a black cab. If you follow what I’ve published on youtube then you will know there are some real shockers.
I have had a few incidences which I’ve been told will be put on the driver’s record, but note these where not confirmed and the information did not come from someone who worked at the PCO. So I have no way to be certain.

Transport for London have provided a handy document that outlines the laws which govern hackney carriages and it states

In this Abstract, ‘The Licensing Authority’ means Transport for London (TfL) which will exercise the duties imposed by the London Cab Order 1934 as amended by the Greater London Authority Act 1999.

So it is up to TFL/PCO to apply the laws in that document. In the document is the Standard Scale, which is the different fines that TFL/PCO are to apply to drivers when the break various laws, unfortunately the fines are maximum and do not have to be that exact amount.

  • Level 1 = £200
  • Level 2 = £500
  • Level 3 = £1,000
  • Level 4 = £2,500
  • Level 5 = £5,000

Lets highlight a few of the laws and what fines should be applied to the drivers that break them.

39. Various acts of misbehaviour by taxi driver (Act of 1843 s28; Act of 1831 s 56)

(1) The following offences are punishable by penalty (Level 1) or two months imprisonment:

(a) Wanton or furious driving.

(b)  Causing hurt or damage to any person by carelessness or wilful misbehaviour.

(c)  Drunkenness during employment.

(d)  Use of insulting or abusive language during employment.

(e)  Use of insulting gestures during employment.

(f)  Any misbehaviour during employment.

(2)  The following offences are punishable by penalty (Level 1 )

(a)  Injuring or endangering the life, limbs or property of any persons by intoxication, wanton or furious driving or any other wilful misconduct.

(b)  Using abusive or insulting language or rude behaviour towards any person.

(c)  Assaulting or obstructing any police officer in the execution of his duty.

(3)  This type of behaviour is also contrary to laws of general application, for example the Public Order Act 1986, carrying where appropriate heavy fines and/or imprisonment.

So it is up to TFL/PCO to deal with drivers who; drive dangerously, injury someone, damage someones property, swear at someone, use insulting gestures.

In several case I have been sworn at, threatened and had people driving dangerously around me. So that would mean that several drivers should have gotten fines but instead they may have a mark on their record or they got away with it.

I guess I will have to push the PCO next time I have an incident with a taxi and get them to properly deal with the driver. At present it’s a joke and I get the feeling that taxi drivers are currently untouchable which is a problem when some of them think you shouldn’t be on the road and they are king.

11 thoughts on “I Love Taxi Drivers

  1. There was an incident during the Tour du Danger, which involved a Taxi. Didn’t see it or what happened. I noticed an altercation between one of the TdD cyclists – a guy in a Panama hat and the Taxi.

  2. Perhaps if the PCO won’t do anything we need a mobile-friendly web site searchable by reg no/taxi number where complaints could be logged and which taxi customers can check before getting in. Who’d want to be driven round town by someone with such a cavalier attitude to safety as some of the people in your video?

  3. I really don’t understand the problem with getting these incidents dealt with. As I see it, there are two licenses involved – the driving license and the taxi license. The latter, with the offences you listed, is dealt with by the PCO, but the former is dealt with as it is with every other driver – by the police. If they can write to (and possibly prosecute) the driver of a private car or commercial vehicle based on a roadsafe report and a youtube video, why can’t they do the same with taxi drivers? The same laws apply to them, they just have extra laws to abide by to.

    As your document states: “In addition to the special Acts, etc. relating to taxis, taxi drivers are also subject in common with other road users to the general laws and regulations affecting drivers of mechanically propelled vehicles”

    So what’s the problem? Maybe I’ve missed something, but why can’t the police say “We’ll pass your complaint on to the PCO to deal with the licensed taxi driver, and in the meantime we’ll deal with the offences committed by the driver”?

  4. Interesting that not picking up a fare to go to S London is an L.3 offence, more than drunk driving or endangering anyone’s life. That shows that onerous is on the police to handle those issues, not the PCO.

  5. Sound like a FOI request to the PCO is called for, regarding the monthly number of allegations of infringement versus the number of breaches and penalties issued for breaking hackney carriage law.

  6. drunk driving seems to very a very low priority! that is crazy! i would expect it to be rated as a level 5 and instant removal of their taxi cab licence!!!!!

  7. The aggressive taxi driver in your video is guilty of both assault and battery. (assault is any behaviour which would cause a reasonable person to fear they may be physically attacked. It does not require any physical contact to be made. Battery occurred when he grabbed your head and camera in a clearly aggressive manner).
    Both are criminal offenses. It is irrelevant what happened prior to that.
    If the police do not wish to prosecute a solicitor should be able to ensure a private prosecution.
    He won’t do any ‘time’ unless he has previous. But he will have fun trying to get travel visas and certain types of employment.
    (In my view you should not be able to be a professional driver if you have aggression related convictions, eventually others may agree with that view.)

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