DoE issue illegal taxi warning

The DoE has issued a warning against anyone trying to pass themselves off as a licensed taxi driver without the necessary paper work following a similar case yesterday when a Belfast man was fined a total of £1,500 and received a two-year driving ban for offences relating to operating an illegal taxi.

Appearing before Belfast Magistrates Courthouse on Tuesday, Gerard McKenna, of 15 Benares Street, Belfast, pleaded guilty to three offences of operating a taxi without being the holder of a taxi driver’s licence, having no Public Service Vehicle licence or no insurance for the vehicle contrary to the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1981.

Mr McKenna was observed by officers from the Driver & Vehicle Testing Agency’s Taxi Enforcement Team operating his Vauxhall Astra car as a taxi in the vicinity of the Odyssey Arena on the evening of 12 June 2003.

A short time later his car was stopped by police and during an inspection a concealed operational two-way taxi radio was discovered.

A DOE Spokesperson said: "This case highlights the need for the public to exercise caution when using taxis. Northern Ireland taxi drivers are required to wear a taxi driver’s identity badge, conspicuously on their person whilst on duty and their vehicle must be appropriately licensed. If a passenger fails to ensure that a vehicle and driver are properly licensed they are compromising their own safety and well-being.

"Combating this type of illegal activity will remain the focus of the Agency’s Taxi Enforcement Team. This illegal activity not only impacts on the livelihood of every legitimate taxi operator in Northern Ireland but represents a serious compromise of road safety, and puts the safety and well-being of passengers at risk."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

02 April 2015
Vehicle Hijacked In North Belfast
A hijacked vehicle has crashed into the front of a house in north Belfast. The incident occurred on the Antrim Road on Wednesday evening. A man armed with a knife pulled open the door of the care and ordered the driver into the passenger seat. The hijacker attempted to drive off in the car but collided with the garden wall a short distance away.
23 June 2015
Two Injured During Hit And Run Incident In North Belfast
Two people have been injured during a hit and run incident in north Belfast. A man, 20, suffered injuries to his head and shoulder after a car mounted a footpath in the New Lodge Road area at around 8pm on Monday. He was taken to hospital to be treated for his injuries.
22 June 2015
Two Men Attacked In South Belfast
Two men have been seriously injured after being attacked in south Belfast. The assault occurred in the Donegall Road area at around 9.30pm on Saturday. One of the men suffered a serious head injury and is currently in a critical condition in hospital.
22 June 2015
Man Assaulted In Belfast
A 20-year-old man has been attacked in Belfast. The incident happened in Tigers Bay at around 10.45pm on Friday. The man suffered head injuries, however his condition is not believed to be life threatening. He is believed to have been assaulted by six men.
18 June 2015
Man Attacked With Pocket Knife In Belfast
A man has been cut in the face after being attacked with a pocket knife in Belfast. The assault occurred at a property on Cawnpore Street just before 10pm on Wednesday. Two men entered the house and attacked the victim with a pocket knife. Another man, who was in the house at the time, was not injured. The intruders made off with two mobile phones.
24 June 2015
Fire Extinguished At Building In Belfast City Centre
Emergency services have extinguished a fire at a building in Belfast city centre. The fire started on the fourth floor of Telephone House on May Street shortly before 7.30am on Wednesday. Five fire engines and an aerial appliance were used to put out the blaze. May Street, Seymour Street and Gloucester Street have been re-opened.
24 June 2015
Woman Robs Off-Licence In East Belfast
Police are appealing for witnesses after a woman robbed an off-licence in east Belfast at knifepoint on Tuesday night. The incident occurred at approximately 11.40pm at premises on the Gilnahirk Road. The robber engaged in a conversation with a female shop assistant before producing a knife and demanding money.
19 June 2015
Crews Called To Tackle Belfast Fire
Firefighters have been called to tackle a fire at a building in Belfast city centre. The fire is reported to have started at a property in Adelaide Street, shortly before 1.45pm on Friday. It is thought the blaze was in the roof space of the building, between the second and third floor. No injuries have been reported. Crews remain at the scene.
18 June 2015
Police Appeal After Woman Seriously Assaulted In Belfast
Police are appealing for witnesses after a woman was seriously assaulted in Belfast on Saturday 13 June. The woman was attacked outside commercial premises on the Newtownards Road. Police are trying to trace two women who helped the victim. The woman is believed to have been seriously injured.
13 December 2002
Public warned over illegal taxis
Christmas is a time for giving but illegal taxi drivers are taking the public for a ride that could end in disaster, the DOE’s Driver & Vehicle Testing Agency has warned.
15 April 2009
Taxi Operators 'Could Do Better', Says Minister
The majority of taxis and their drivers are meeting their legal requirements, a Driver & Vehicle Agency survey has revealed. NI Environment Minister Sammy Wilson (pictured) welcomed the results of a 2008 survey – the first of its kind in the British Isles - which showed over three quarters of the fleet are complying with the law.
05 June 2006
Taxi driver attacked in Londonderry
A Londonderry taxi driver has escaped injury after his car came under attack at the weekend. The incident happened at around 3.20am on Sunday. It has been reported that the driver had just dropped off a fare at Duncastle Park in the Newbuildings area of the city, when his vehicle was attacked.
26 June 2015
Eleventh Night Bonfire 'Deliberately' Set Alight In Lisburn
A bonfire has been set alight in Lisburn in the early hours of Friday morning. The Eleventh Night bonfire at Old Warren is believed to have been lit at around 3am, according to the police. The cause of the fire is being treated as deliberate.
15 August 2006
New laws to improve NI taxis
The Environment Minister David Cairns has today announced a consultation on new laws to regulate taxis in Northern Ireland.
06 August 2002
Minister steps in to combat illegal cabs
Environment Minister Dermot Nesbitt has announced plans to help the travelling public to use legal taxi cabs. By requiring all licensed taxis to display taxi licence plates, it is hoped that the plans will help the public spot legal taxis and combat the problem of illegal taxiing.