26th January 2018
Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976
Three Rivers District Council Proposed Changes to Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver and Private Hire Operator Prerequisites.
Three Rivers District Council are responsible for licensing private hire drivers, vehicles and operators under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 within its controlled district. The Council is also responsible for licensing Hackney carriages and their drivers within its controlled district under the Town Police Clauses Act 1847.
When determining applications for private hire or Hackney carriage drivers or private hire operators the Council must consider whether an applicant is “Fit and Proper” to hold a licence.
Under current Council policy the council has a number of prerequisites that are part of the application stage before a driver’s licence is issued to determine whether an applicant is “Fit and Proper” these are:
- The applicant is over 21;
- The applicant has held a UK or EU licence for at least 12 months and has at least two years driving experience;
- An applicant completes an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service and meets the Three Rivers District Council Hackney carriage and private hire driver and private hire operator suitability policy;
- meets the DVLA Group 2 Medical Standards;
- passes a knowledge test.
The Council are proposing to add to these prerequisites that the applicant undertakes additional training on Child Sexual Exploitation, Disability Awareness Training, Wheelchair assessments for drivers of Wheelchair accessible vehicles, Practical Driving Assessments and would appreciate feedback.
Child Sexual Exploitation Training: The changes include the introduction of mandatory safeguarding training for private hire and Hackney carriage drivers and private hire operators throughout the district who want to obtain or renew a licence. This will help drivers and operators be more aware of and help spot signs of CSE and inform them of the best ways to report concerns for children or vulnerable adults at risk.
Disability Awareness Training: The changes include the introduction of mandatory Disability Awareness Training for private hire and Hackney carriage drivers and private hire operators throughout the district who want to obtain or renew a licence. This will ensure drivers and operators are more aware on what disability is, the different types of disability, legislation regarding customers and disability discrimination and practical advice on how to meet the needs of disabled people whether they are customers or colleagues.
Wheelchair assessments for drivers of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs): The changes include the introduction of mandatory wheelchair assessments for all Hackney carriage drivers and for private hire drivers of wheelchair accessible vehicles who want to obtain or renew a licence.
The assessments ensure that the driver can:
- safely load and unload a wheelchair in their vehicle
- use the wheelchair brakes to secure and release it
- fasten the seatbelts or safety harness
- secure wheel belts or clamps fitted to the vehicle
Private Hire and Hackney carriage driving assessment: The changes include the introduction of mandatory driving assessment for all new private hire and Hackney carriage drivers.
The assessments ensure that the driver can demonstrate:
- that their eyesight meets the legal requirements
- a safe standard of driving
- a manoeuvre where they will be asked to turn their vehicle around to face the opposite direction
- around 10 minutes of driving without being given turn-by-turn instructions
- a stop at the side of the road as if a passenger is getting in or out their vehicle
- knowledge on related questions, such as what to do if a passenger leaves property in their vehicle
- their knowledge on questions from the Highway Code and identifying traffic signs and road markings
- an emergency stop (they may be asked to carry this out)
The additional prerequisites would be considered as best practice and as such the Council has opened this amendment up to consultation and would appreciate feedback on the current proposal or any alternative options that may be considered.
The deadline for responses is 28th February 2018.
Representations can be made by email to email@example.com (Please mark the Subject Line: Driver / Operator Training) or by post to Licensing, Three Rivers District Council, Three Rivers House, Northway, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, WD3 1RL.