Waveney: New cabbies face tests in English and maths
NEW taxi drivers may have to pass tests in basic English and maths before being allowed to pick up fares.
Waveney District Council’s licensing committee approved the proposed new rules, intended to improve standards, following concern from members of the public and the trade over the number of drivers without sufficient command of the language.
Under the new rules, all new Hackney Carriage and private hire drivers will be required to pass a basic reading, writing and arithmetic test prior to making an application, at an administrative cost of �30.75.
Drivers who fail will be given the opportunity to take the test again, possibly following some tuition, before being allowed behind the wheel.
Following a four-month review of services, licensing staff put forward a schedule of amendments to policies and procedures to make testing of new applicants more robust.
As well as introducing written English and numerical tests for new drivers, applicants will be required to take a practical driving standard assessment and an amended oral local knowledge test.
Stricter driving licence regulations will also be employed after it became apparent that some cabbies had obtained copies of their licence from the DVLA on the pretence they had lost the original, producing the second copy for endorsement in the event they receive a speeding conviction, leaving the original copy clean when renewing their licence.
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New applicants and existing licensees will now be subject to DVLA data checks upon application and renewal, at a cost of �5.
The council also adopted amendments to the policy regarding the renewal of medical certificates – currently required every three years from the date of the original medical, carried out by the driver’s GP.
The new rules, in line with those adopted by the DVLA, state that a medical will remain valid up to the age of 45, after which renewal will be required every five years until the age of 65, when renewal will be required annually. The committee’s report said these changes would improve the renewal process and save staff and administrative costs.
The proposals will now go out to consultation with the trade until September 21. Feedback will be presented to the committee at its meeting on October 17.
If no objections are received, the changes to policy would become effective without referral back to the committee.