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Passenger safety is paramount
9:17am Monday 28th October 2013 in Our View
It is very worrying news that almost a third of private hire and Hackney carriage vehicles in Bradford have recently failed random vehicle checks.
The spot-checks initiated in March this year are designed not to victimise cab drivers but to ensure that the vehicles are free from any defects or faults which could ultimately endanger passengers.
Cabs are on the road for many hours a day and they must be properly maintained and kept in good working order, requiring even more frequent and rigorous checking than a vehicle which might only be used for domestic purposes and infrequent journeys.
When people climb into a Hackney carriage or private hire care they should be able to fully expect that the vehicle conforms to all safety requirements. Passengers are essentially putting their safety in the hands of the driver and his or her vehicle and that faith must always be properly respected.
While some drivers say that the Council spot-checks have pointed out very minor failings which they say do not compromise passenger safety, it has been pointed out from other quarters that spot-checks have thrown up MoT failures and bald tyres.
With the weather worsening, the nights now darker and the party season approaching, when many more people will be reliant on Hackney carriages and private hire taxis to get them to and from events, this programme of spot-checks is all the more vital.
Some have complained about the inflexibility of the vehicle checks, in which drivers and companies are given only 24 hours’ notice before an inspection, but the safety of passengers at all times must be of paramount importance above all other concerns in this matter.