CABBIES will be forced into the shadows by a new penalty points system, a trade unionist warned last night.

Bill Chard of the GMB was speaking against Kirklees Council’s plan to crack down on rogue taxi drivers.

Officials plan to bring in a new system on January 1, 2012.

Drivers would receive points for things like refusing to take a fare, failing to wear a driver’s badge and eating in their taxi.

Any cabbie who collected 12 points within a year would have their licence reviewed.

But taxi drivers have threatened to strike over the proposal.

They believe it is unfair for cabbies to be governed by the proposed Kirklees points regime and the penalty points system which governs all motorists.

Mr Chard spoke against the plan at last night’s Kirklees Cabinet meeting at Dewsbury Town Hall.

He told councillors: “This would be a double whammy.

“Over-legislation leads drivers to go underground because they say it’s not worth the bother and the expense of being licensed.

“Over-regulation causes illegal activities and increases danger.

“I ask you to reject this proposal before incurring any further costs.”

Cabinet member Clr Ken Smith replied: “I hope the issues will be resolved fairly soon.”