Taxis found to be defective

A CRACKDOWN on taxi safety across North Somerset revealed defects on more than 39 per cent of vehicles stopped. Police joined forces with licensing

A CRACKDOWN on taxi safety across North Somerset revealed defects on more than 39 per cent of vehicles stopped.Police joined forces with licensing officers from North Somerset Council, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as part of Operation Tariff to carry out the inspections in and around Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare.A total of 28 vehicles were stopped, out of which nine of the 23 private hire/taxi vehicles tested were found to have defects, including illegal tyres, exhaust and brake defects.VOSA prohibited the vehicles and the Licensing Authority removed the vehicle license plates from seven of them until the defects are rectified.Road policing officers dealt with offences of no seatbelts, speeding and deficient lights.The Department of Works and Pensions is also carrying out further investigations on two of the drivers stopped.The number of vehicles with significant defects has increased since the last spot check in September 2006, when a third of the 25 vehicles stopped were found to be defective.Sergeant John Hext of the road policing unit said: "It is important operators and drivers pay attention to the condition of their vehicles, which is vital given the public service role they daily undertake."The enforcement exercise was aimed at improving safety for people using the services in North Somerset."Further checks are planned to reinforce this and raise awareness to those people operating taxis in North Somerset.

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