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Walsall Council and West Midlands Police have taken part in a spot check operation to ensure taxis and hackney carriages in the borough are safe and compliant with licensing conditions.

54 licensed vehicles were stopped during the exercise and seven vehicles were found to be driving on tyres that were bald or borderline. A range of other compliance issues were discovered including faulty lights and missing first aid kits and fire extinguishers.

26 drivers were found not to be wearing their badge.

Action taken by officers ranged from verbal warnings to suspension of vehicle.

Officers also undertook a similar operation at five special schools checking drivers, vehicles and pupil escorts. In these cases, of the 47 vehicles checked in the past two weeks, the majority complied with licensing regulations.

Speaking about the operation, cabinet member Cllr Ian Shires said:

‘Taxis and hackney carriages play an important role in the life of the borough and we need to ensure that drivers and their vehicles comply with regulations aimed at keeping everyone safe. I’d like to thank everyone involved for their co-operation.’

Taxi Licensing Enforcement Officer PC Dave Humpherson from West Midlands Police said:

‘The majority of drivers operate legitimately but there are those who operate dangerously and knowingly. We would always urge passengers to book their journey or make sure they use a properly licensed cab. The message for drivers is simple; stick to the rules. Get caught, go to court!’

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