One in four taxis do not meet legal standards
A DVA survey found that one in four taxis in Northern Ireland do not comply with legal requirements.
During the survey, 659 taxis were randomly stopped by Driver and Vehicle Agency staff and assessed for compliance with the relevant legal requirements.
Of the 659 taxis checked, 163 (24.7%) had at least one serious roadworthiness defect and/ or at least one serious traffic offence.
The 163 vehicles found to be non-compliant may have had more than one serious defect and/ or traffic offence the findings stated.
Of the 163, 36.8 per cent were issued with a prosecution notice, fixed penalty notice or prohibition notice for a roadworthiness defect only. Over 20 per cent were issued with a prosecution notice, fixed penalty notice or prohibition notice for a traffic offence only and 42.9 per cent were issued with a prosecution notice, fixed penalty notice or prohibition notice for both a roadworthiness defect and a traffic offence.
Defects on vehicles included problems with tyres, lights, breaks and fire extinguishers.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: “This level of compliance has implications for customers, for road safety and for the environment. That is why the introduction of operator licensing later this year and the other changes that I intend to bring forward in order to reform the industry are so important. By better regulation and proper enforcement, compliance, safety and comfort can be enhanced."