COUNCILLORS will decide tomorrow whether to crack down on dodgy taxi drivers.
Kirklees Council’s Cabinet has been asked to spend nearly £13,000 on background checks on cabbies.
The council believes some drivers are using two licences to hide their driving convictions.
Some cabbies facing court action contact the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) saying they have lost their licence. They are sent a new, clean licence which they use when renewing their taxi permit.
This allows drivers to avoid the council’s scrutiny system for cabbies who have penalty points.
The Cabinet will decide whether to fund a check of the DVLA’s website. Verifying the details of Kirklees’s 2,149 hackney carriage and private hire taxi drivers will cost £12,900.
Licensing committee chairwoman Clr Christine Iredale is in favour of the checks.
She said: “While we do not think this practice is widespread, it is still a matter of fraud and deception.
“A small number of people are bringing the trade into disrepute by deliberately trying to manipulate the system and hide their driving convictions or penalties.
“This has very serious consequences, not simply for them if the drivers if they are caught, but also for the travelling public and for insurances issues.”
Clr Iredale added that the checks would increase public confidence in legitimate drivers.
She said: “This is a very serious matter of safety. We have a responsibility to ensure that the travelling public are getting into vehicles which are driven by drivers holding a genuine licence.
“We have a very good working relationship with the taxi trade in Kirklees and I know that they are as anxious as we are to ensure the people who travel in their cars have confidence in the service they receive.”