A private hire taxi driver from Abbots Langley has been banned from driving taxis after being convicted of using a vehicle without a licence and driving without the required insurance.
On June 18, 2021 Ubaid Mushtaq, whilst working as a call handler and dispatcher for a private hire operator in Abbots Langley, accepted a booking from a member of public.
The journey from the passengers’ home address in Abbots Langley to Croxley Green was conducted in Mushtaq’s private vehicle which was not licensed by Three Rivers District Council.
The council’s licensing department was contacted by the passengers who expressed concern about the condition of the vehicle which appeared to have been involved in a collision as there was damage to the front of the vehicle, had no front number plate displayed and a space saving wheel fitted to the front near side.
Mushtaq was questioned under caution by licensing officers and denied the journey that had been made was illegal. Mushtaq stated he was merely ‘doing a favour’ for the customers as his journey home from work took him in the same direction that the customers were travelling.
Mushtaq was initially found guilty of these offences in his absence on October 27, 2021 as he failed to attend court. But the case was reopened after Mushtaq stated he had not received the original court summons.
On June 6, 2022 St Albans Magistrates found Mushtaq guilty of using a vehicle without a current licence and without an insurance policy. Mushtaq was ordered to pay £180 for each offence, £500 costs and a £36 victim surcharge totaling £896.
Mushtaq’s private hire driver licence has now been revoked and his details added to the National Anti-Fraud Network database. Furthermore, Mushtaq will not be permitted to apply for any private hire or Hackney Carriage licences for a period of five years.
Cllr Roger Seabourne, the council’s lead member for community safety and partnerships, said: “The council has a duty to ensure that the general public are safe to travel in our district. In this instance, given the condition of the vehicle and the safety implications which could have resulted from using a private vehicle not fit for purpose, it was considered necessary and proportionate to prosecute. Hopefully this will be a warning to others who wish to use private vehicles when transporting passengers.”
Anyone with concerns about drivers, vehicles or operators within the Three Rivers District Council area can report them to the licensing department by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or report via the self-service online portal at https://my.threerivers.gov.uk/MyServices