Pioneering plan starts soon
A SCHEME to improve taxi safety is being launched next week.
Would-be taxi drivers who want to work in the area covered by Calderdale Council are to be assessed by the Driving Standards Agency before being given licences to drive cabs.
The scheme starts on Monday, when specially-trained driving examiners will assess the applicants' ability to drive safely and professionally in a `real' environment.
Successful candidates will receive a certificate of competence and a de-brief.
Taxi tests will be carried out at the Huddersfield, Halifax and Bradford driving test centres.
The new test includes manoeuvres designed specifically with taxi drivers in mind.
It is set at a higher standard than the practical test for learner drivers and ensures the applicant's ability to drive passengers in safety and comfort.
New test routes are being used and the DSA will ensure that a uniform and consistently high standard of taxi testing is maintained.
Robin Cummins, the DSA's chief driving examiner, said: "Driving a taxi carries a great responsibility and their drivers are the only hire and reward drivers who currently don't have to pass a statutory driving test.
"The Government is anxious to improve road safety and we are delighted that Calderdale Council has decided to introduce the new assessment.
We look forward to involvement with customers who are planning their future in this particular professional driving capacity," added Mr Cummins.