Taxi company owner in court over no insurance

THE owner of a taxi company has pleaded guilty to allowing one of his employees to drive a cab with no insurance, putting the public at risk. While Ashfaq Rehman, proprietor of Ace Taxis in Stevenage, did have insurance for the vehicle, the driver, Mark D

THE owner of a taxi company has pleaded guilty to allowing one of his employees to drive a cab with no insurance, putting the public at risk.

While Ashfaq Rehman, proprietor of Ace Taxis in Stevenage, did have insurance for the vehicle, the driver, Mark Dallas, did not hold a hackney carriage licence. The insurance policy held by Rehman was therefore invalid.

Rehman and Dallas were taken to court by Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) after the council realised the licence held by Dallas had expired in June last year, and that Rehman had not made the necessary checks to ensure this licence was still in place.

Stevenage magistrates fined Rehman �600. Six points were also added to his driving licence and �175 in costs was awarded to SBC.

After pleading guilty to not having the required hackney carriage licence, Dallas was fined �160. Six points were also added to his licence and �75 in costs was awarded to the council.

SBC said Rehman cooperated fully with the council's investigation and has shown a positive change in the way he oversees his business since the incident came to light.

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SBC also said it revised its taxi licensing policy and conditions in April this year, which will further protect the travelling public.

Celia Twomey, strategic director at SBC, said: "Taxi companies are responsible for ensuring that all of their drivers and vehicles are properly licensed. If they fail to do that, their vehicles are not insured and the public are placed at risk.

"Public safety is paramount and we will take action against any licensee who fails to meet their responsibilities.

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