Fare cop as banned cabbie is caught picking up trade in Swansea
A TAXI driver was caught picking up passengers while banned from the road in a police sting in the city centre.
Officers from South Wales Police held an operation in Swansea to make sure taxi and bus drivers were working within the law.
The force's commercial vehicle unit, was joined by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (Vosa), taxi licensing and city centre neighbourhood officers to conduct safety checks to ensure vehicles are fit to carry passengers.
City centre inspector Dean Thomas said "Many people from far and wide come to Swansea to enjoy the vibrant night life and expect to be transported to and from the city in buses or taxis that are safe and legal.
"I am sure that many would be concerned if they were aware that the some of the transportation does not meet the required standards.
"This current operation has once again clearly demonstrated our commitment to tackling those individuals and companies who are continuing to ignore the law and potentially put people's lives at risk."
In total 18 passenger-carrying vehicles were checked. One taxi driver was arrested for being disqualified from driving, and his taxi seized and two other taxis received suspension notices, after a fuel leak and a steering problem were found.
Mechanical defects that were found included defects to passenger seats, defective exhaust system, defective tyres, loose wheel nuts and a vehicle that had below the minimum brake fluid within its brake system.
Also thanks to new regulations meaning all vehicles carrying more than eight passengers had to be checked, two drivers were found to be in breach and reported for summons.
Four other drivers received prohibition notices in respect of breaches of tachograph — the meter which records speed and distance — regulations, and were banned from driving for a period of time.
PC Phil David said: "It is disappointing that certain bus and taxi operators are not adhering to the regulations, and in particular failing to ensure that their vehicles are to a mechanical standard that is required by law.
"Customers who book transport genuinely believe that the transport that they have booked and paid for is roadworthy, and is capable of taking them to their venue, but unfortunately we have highlighted again, that these vehicles have substantial defects."