Local authorities could soon be required to ensure that every prospective taxi driver undergoes enhanced criminal record and background checks.
The Government today launched a consultation on new licensing guidelines designed to strengthen the process by which taxi and minicab drivers are granted licenses.
These guidelines would provide enhanced safety standards for taxi and private hire vehicles, which will be consistent across the country, the Department for Transport says.
As well as proposing that drivers undergo enhanced background checks, the consultation also proposes national minimum standards for drivers and the establishment of a national licensing database.
It will also look at restricting drivers operating hundreds of miles away from where they are licensed and fitting vehicles with CCTV.
‘While the vast majority of drivers are safe and act responsibly, we have seen too many cases where taxi and minicab drivers have used their job to prey on vulnerable people, women and children,’ said taxis minister Nusrat Ghani.
‘These rules would make sure that drivers are fit to carry passengers, keeping people safe while stopping those with bad intentions from getting behind the wheel of a taxi or minicab.’