Taxi driver loses bid to have licence reinstated
A TAXI driver who had his licence revoked by Rugby Borough Council after he crashed his cab into a parked car, injuring his passengers, has lost his appeal against the decision.
The council's licensing and safety committee revoked Mohammed Ali's dual taxi and private hire driver's licence at a review hearing on 24 November.
The hearing followed an incident on 11 October when Mr Ali's cab crashed into a parked car, resulting in both of his passengers requiring hospital treatment.
Ali, of Blythe Road, Coventry, failed to report the accident to the council within 72 hours - as required by the conditions of his licence.
In addition, a police investigation discovered the cab was being driven with two bald tyres at the time of the accident.
Ali was informed his licence was to be reviewed following the accident. He told the council's licensing team he was unable to drive his cab due to the damage it sustained in the accident, but he was asked to inform the council if he resumed driving a taxi before the review hearing.
However, on 10 November a council officer spotted a taxi driving through a red light at a pedestrian crossing in the town centre.
An investigation identified Ali as the driver of the cab, and his licence was immediately suspended pending the review hearing.
At the hearing, the licensing and safety committee upheld Ali's suspension and voted to revoke his licence on the grounds he had failed in his duty to protect the public by driving his taxi in an unroadworthy condition and not reporting the accident to the council within 72 hours.
The committee also noted Ali's disregard for the condition of his passengers following the accident.
Ali's appeal against the decision was heard by magistrates at Nuneaton's Warwickshire Justice Centre on Tuesday 9 February.
Magistrates were told despite Ali failing to report the accident to the council within 72 hours, he had taken photographs of the damage to his cab at the time of the accident and informed his insurance company.
After hearing submissions from both the council and Ali's solicitor, magistrates upheld the committee's decision to revoke his licence.
Speaking after the hearing, Cllr Kathryn Lawrence, chair of the licensing and safety committee, said: "We have a duty to ensure all taxi drivers in Rugby comply with the terms and conditions of our licensing policy, which places paramount importance on the safety of the public.
"Taxi drivers hold a position of trust and have a duty of care, and when drivers fail in this duty we have no hesitation in revoking their licence."
Residents can make a complaint about the conduct of a taxi driver by emailing the council's taxi licensing team at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (01788) 533533.