Recently, there have been proposals from councils that all speciality vehicle drivers should follow the same legislations as London’s black cabs, this includes drivers of party buses, limousines and rickshaws.
The Local Government Association (LGA) are requesting that drivers of novelty vehicles undergo criminal record vetting and their vehicles must adhere to safety regulations.
Footage released last month showed a rickshaw driver trying to charge passengers £206 for a mile long trip around London. A single licensing scheme would allow councils to stop this happening in the future as all rickshaw drivers would be forced to adhere to certain codes of practice. Legislation that is available to rickshaw drivers is the London Pedicab Operators Association which works with authorities and other organisations to regulate the industry in a fair, appropriate and workable manner. Members can sign up to the association’s code of conduct, however this is currently voluntary.
As speciality vehicles grow in popularity, it is important that there is a consistent and fair approach when licensing vehicles and the drivers are put through the same inspections and checks as licensed taxis.
Currently, taxis and some novelty vehicles are governed by laws developed back in the 19th century and therefore are outdated when it comes to the regulations of current vehicles.
The LGA have said that future legislation should be based on the ‘Law Commission’s draft bill’ which was published last year and will make sure licensing is brought into the 21st century.
Rickshaw drivers are under no current regulation in London and can charge what they like as long as it has been agreed with the passenger beforehand. Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who has expressed his concern for Pedicabs in the past, now calls to give Transport for London extra powers to enable them to introduce regulations in this area and the government has indicated that a draft bill is being considered to ensure the regulations come into play.
What do you think about these new requests for legislation? Do you think speciality vehicles should undergo vetting?
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