21/07/2004

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."

(MB)

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

29 July 2015
Pipe Bomb Found In North Belfast
A pipe bomb has been discovered in north Belfast, according to the police. A suspicious object was found in the Rosapenna Street area on Wednesday morning. Police and Army bomb squad officers attended the scene and carried out tests. All roads have been re-opened and residents have returned to their homes.
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.
03 July 2015
Police Vehicle Attacked In East Belfast
A police vehicle has been attacked with petrol bombs in east Belfast on Thursday night. The incident happened in St Patrick's Walk at around 8pm. Three petrol bombs were thrown at the vehicle, however there were no reports of any injuries or damage. Police are appealing to anyone with information to contact them.
29 July 2015
Nine Murals To Be Removed In East Belfast
Nine paramilitary murals are being removed and redesigned in a major reimaging project in east Belfast. Charter NI secured £30,000 funding from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive's Community Cohesion budget to oversee the project in the Lord Street area.
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.
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.
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.
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.
22 October 2004
DVLNI issue taxi display notice
The DoE Driver and Vehicle Licensing Northern Ireland (DVLNI) has issued a ‘If it’s not on it, then don’t get in it!’ message to taxi users throughout the province. From 1 November 2004, all licensed taxis will be required to display taxi licence plates, making them easier for the public to recognise.
11 July 2003
Vehicle cheats tackled in 12-day operation
A 12-day multi-agency vehicle operation has caught 104 commercial and private vehicles operating on illegal fuel across Northern Ireland.
19 November 2014
Other News In Brief
Belfast Taxi Driver Fined A Belfast taxi driver has been fined a total of £300 at Belfast Magistrates’ Court for four taxi licensing offences. Mr Damien Patrick Canavan of Laurelbank, Belfast, pleaded guilty and was fined £75 on each of two counts of using an unlicenced taxi and £75 on each of two counts of not having a taxi driver’s licence.
28 October 2014
New Test For Taxi Drivers Introduced
A test for new taxi drivers is to be introduced later this week, it has been announced. From 31 October, new taxi drivers will be required to pass a Taxi Driver Theory and Practical Driving Test, the DOE has said. The test will affect new entrants to the industry.
12 August 2009
'High Paying Fare' Boosts Taxi Builders
A Co Tyrone business is celebrating this month - after hailing a new taxi building contract. Dungannon company Premier Vehicle Solutions (PVS) Ltd has secured a major deal with Fiat Ireland, potentially worth £2.1 million, with help from Invest Northern Ireland and the EU.
19 June 2014
New Taxi Regulations Outlined
From January next year, taxi customers will be able to hail all cabs, black or otherwise, in the street, rather than having to secure a booking beforehand. The news comes as Environment Minister Mark H Durkan outlines the timescales for new legislation affecting taxis to be brought in.
22 May 2015
Two Men Attempt To Rob Taxi Driver In West Belfast
Two men, one armed with a knife, attempted to rob a taxi driver in west Belfast. The incident occurred in the Distillery Street area in the early hours of Friday morning. The driver, 50, picked up two men in the Arundel Walk area just before 1.45am. The front seat passenger pulled out a knife and demanded money.