Rushden taxi driver fined £900 for not having the correct licence

The hearing was held at Northampton Magistrates Court

The hearing was held at Northampton Magistrates Court

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A taxi driver has been fined £900 after operating a plated vehicle without the appropriate licence.

Northampton Magistrates Court heard that Marcus Smith of Rushden had his licence suspended for six months from December 2014 by the licencing panel committee at East Northamptonshire Council.

Unlicensed drivers who ply for hire are not insured and therefore pose a serious risk to public safety

Cllr Glenvil Greenwood-Smith

Following an altercation with a member of the public in February, the council was given evidence that Mr Smith was still operating as a taxi driver with no licence.

On March 16, Mr Smith was seen driving his plated vehicle by the council’s licensing officer and was subsequently cautioned, leading to the court case on August 4.

At the court hearing, Mr Smith was fined £400 for operating a taxi without a private hire driver’s licence, which was £200 for both occasions he was proven to be doing so.

He was also ordered to pay £500 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Mr Smith did not attend the hearing.

Cllr Glenvil Greenwood-Smith, chairman of the licensing committee, said: “This was first-class work by the licensing officer.

“Unlicensed drivers who ply for hire are not insured and therefore pose a serious risk to public safety.

“Residents and visitors to our district need to be confident they’re in a safe, licensed private hire vehicle or taxi.

“Most private hire companies and their drivers carry out their trade lawfully and condemn the few that bring the trade into disrepute.

“All legitimately licensed private hire vehicle drivers are required by law to wear their private hire vehicle badge and the vehicles display a council plate on the rear.”