7 Interesting Facts About Taxis That You May Not Know.
Being the driver of a taxi holds a great deal of responsibility, and the safety of all vehicle occupants is at the forefront of every driver’s mind throughout any journey. While most of us are well acquainted with the highway code and the rules of the road, here are 7 interesting facts related to driving and riding a taxi that you may not be aware of.
1. Continuous CCTV recording.
It is becoming increasingly common to have CCTV systems installed in taxis and private hire vehicles. Whilst most agree that the presence of CCTV in the vehicle adds an extra level of security for both drivers and passengers. Many local authorities have deemed the installation of CCTV systems to be mandatory. But the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has highlighted the continuous recording of the drivers is both intrusive and therefore should be subject to strict data protection rules and human rights law.
The ICO’s view is that continuous recording is unlawful and that generally, the use of CCTV should be necessary and proportionate. i.e when transporting passengers the CCTV should be recording and it should not be recording when the driver is off duty.
2. Child seats in taxi’s law.
In most cases children up to the age of 3 travelling in a vehicle must be in a child car seat. However the rules are different in a taxi if the driver is unable to provide the correct child car seat.
In this case children under the age of 3 can travel on their own rear seat without a seatbelt next to an adult. This is believed to be safer than holding them in the event of an accident or emergency stop.
It is important to remember to deactivate any front airbags before fitting a rear-facing baby seat in the front seat of a vehicle. Also child car seats should not be fitted to side-facing seats. More information and guidance on choosing the right car seat and general safety advice for travelling with children in the car can be found on the Child Car Seats website
3. Taxi drivers don’t have to wear their seatbelts.
OK, so to be clear, in most cases passengers of any vehicle must always wear their seatbelt when travelling, however, this does not apply to taxi drivers. It is no secret that quite often drivers will carry some cash on them from passenger fares. The reason for this law is to prevent the driver from being restrained by their seatbelt in the unfortunate event that they were to come under attack. These days specially designed taxis now have built-in screens to isolate the passengers from the driver to help prevent this type of assault.
It also makes it much easier for the driver to move in and out of the vehicle in order to assist their passengers with luggage, or to aid their passenger’s entry into, and exit out of the vehicle.
4. Regulating taxi emissions.
Recently the UK Government has introduced the Air Quality Regulations legislation for taxis and private hire vehicles. Clean Air Zones are being implemented in towns and cities across the UK and taxi firms are under pressure to respond. At ABC Taxis we are proud to have over 150 eco-friendly vehicles making up the ABC fleet, a necessary step towards reducing pollution on the roads and improving the air quality in Norwich.
5. Soiling a Taxi
We’ve all had a close call in the back of a cab on the way home from a night out in one of Norwich’s finest pubs or nightclubs. Or maybe you decided to check out our 6 Great Breweries To Visit In Norfolk blog. At times you are the responsible adult taking a friend back home because they’ve had one too many and in short, they don’t make it.
A taxi driver has a legal responsibility to provide a clean and pleasant environment for their passengers, and a soiled vehicle must be taken off the road to be cleaned. The drivers themselves are responsible for the cleanup operation. This is why the taxi soiling charge exists and it is intended to cover the loss of earnings that is incurred from the driver having to take the car off the road.
6. Drinking in taxis
A taxi journey is intended to be a safe, calm environment where both the driver and passenger are respectful and polite. Many drivers will not allow the consumption of food and drink in their vehicles to avoid the upholstery being soiled at their own discretion. However, It is not illegal for an adult passenger to consume an alcoholic beverage whilst in the taxi. That being said it is down to the individual driver’s discretion what they allow in their vehicle, as many are self-employed and by stepping into their cab, you are effectively in their shop.
7. Smoking in taxis.
In the UK smoking has been banned in enclosed public places and in workplaces since 2007. This includes taxis and private hire vehicles regardless of whether the driver is transporting a fare to their location or if the vehicle is empty of passengers. This law also applies to e-cigarettes and drivers or passengers found to be breaking the law can face a fine of up to £200.