Bookmark and Share

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.

27 February 2004
Minister announces review of PACE legislation
Security Minister Jane Kennedy has announced to Parliament that a review of Police & Criminal Evidence (PACE) legislation in Northern Ireland and the accompanying Codes of Practice is underway.
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.
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.
10 May 2016
Other News In Brief
Man Convicted Of Benefit Fraud A man has been convicted for claiming benefits he was not entitled to at Omagh Crown Court. James McCaugherty claimed Income Support and Rates Relief totalling £18,164 while failing to declare capital. He was given a one month prison sentence suspended for two years.
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.
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.
26 May 2016
Police Appeal After Car Set Alight And Abandoned In West Belfast
Police are appealing for information after a car was set alight and abandoned beside several homes in west Belfast. The PSNI responded to reports that a man was "smashing up" a vehicle in the Blackstaff Complex on the Springfield Road at around 3pm on Wednesday. On arrival, the vehicle was found to be abandoned and on fire.
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.
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.
01 May 2015
Taxi Driver Threatened In West Belfast
A taxi driver has been threatened by two teenagers in west Belfast. The incident happened in Lady Street at around 11pm on Thursday night. Two males got into the taxi and one pulled the handbrake up and the other, who was in the back of the taxi, had a chain. The taxi driver managed to get the pair out of the vehicle and drove off.
10 December 2014
Belfast Taxi Driver Fined £1,000
A Belfast taxi operator has been fined £1,000 for four taxi operator offences today at Belfast Magistrates Court. Roderick Hassan, trading as A1 Taxis, Union Street, Belfast, was convicted and fined £200 for keeping false and/or misleading taxi booking records and providing a false statement.
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.