Officers from North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) will be clamping down on unlicensed or law-breaking taxi drivers at this weekend’s Download Festival.
This includes being on the lookout for drivers illegally plying for trade without a pre-booked passenger and vehicles that don’t meet safety requirements.
The festival attracts thousands of people to North West Leicestershire each year, but can also be a target for unlicensed drivers looking to make money off potentially vulnerable festival goers wanting to get home.
As a result of the same operation at Download last year, two drivers ended up in court for offences committed late on Sunday night and early into the hours of Monday morning when the festival ended.
One driver was disqualified from driving for three months after plying for trade, while another was given six penalty points and fined £250 for the same offence, and for not being licensed to operate in the district, therefore voiding his insurance.
Private hire vehicles can legally only pick up pre-booked passengers; a regulation that exists to provide passengers with important safety protections against unregulated drivers.
Councillor Alison Smith MBE, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community Services at NWLDC, said: “This operation is about keeping people safe and supporting the many taxi drivers that follow the law.
“These laws and regulations exist for good reason and protect people from unregulated drivers that could be driving unsafe or dangerous vehicles.
“We hope we don’t catch anyone breaking the law but we want to send a message that it won’t be tolerated and that we will act if a driver is caught.
“Download Festival is a brilliant event, we hope everyone has a great time, and gets home safely afterwards.”