PARTY people were today urged to take care when using taxis.
As Christmas and the New Year approach, more and more people will be using taxis to get to and from pubs and parties.
But West Yorkshire Police and Kirklees Council are warning people to use licensed taxis only.
The advice follows the recent death of Wakefield woman Stephanie Hammill, 20, who was abducted after getting in a car she thought was a taxi.
She died after being hit by another car while making her escape.
Unlicensed taxis are illegal, have not been examined for safety, may not have an MOT and are not insured to carry fare-paying passengers.
Also, drivers are not vetted.
Kirklees Council endorses just two types of taxi - private hire and hackney carriage.
Hackney carriages can pick up passengers in the street, are all white and have a ``taxi" sign on the roof.
Private hire cars must be pre-booked. They have ``private hire" marked on their doors, plus a firm's name and phone number.
Some also display rear window plates and front door signs with the Kirklees logo and taxi plate number.
Kirklees Council is working with taxi drivers to develop a system of door signs and markings to make all licensed taxis in the area instantly identifiable.
Both types of taxi are pictured.
Pc Dave McSweeney, of Huddersfield police, said: "It is a big problem at Christmas and New Year. Everybody is wanting taxis, everyone is queuing. You get bogus taxi drivers pulling up and it is tempting to jump in and go home.
"But you are putting yourself in danger. It is especially dangerous for women on their own. We recommend that they go home with friends or use a regular firm or hackney carriage."
Police also advise people to give their name when booking and when the taxi arrives ask who it is for, to ensure it is the same firm.
If you are alone, or last out of the taxi, sit directly behind the driver.
Women can also ask if the firm has a female driver.
For people using the train or bus, police recommend avoiding isolated bus stops.
On an empty bus or train, sit near the driver and avoid compartments where there is only one other person.
If you are harassed on the journey, tell the driver or pull the communication cord.
If you are attacked, police advise you to draw attention to yourself.
They also advise people to carry personal attack alarms in their hands or on their belts.
Leaflets from West Yorkshire Police about how to stay safe when using taxis or public transport are available from Huddersfield police station.