A Stockton-on-Tees man has been ordered to pay £2,141.50 in fines and costs for driving a private hire vehicle without a licence and for driving without insurance.
On 10 May 2016 Teesside Magistrates Court heard that Zulfikar Ali, 35, of Yarm Road, Stockton was seen driving a private hire vehicle in Stockton Borough on the 10 June 2015. When subsequently questioned by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council Licensing Officers it was clear Mr Ali did not have a private hire driver’s licence and was therefore not authorised to drive private hire vehicles. He was also found not to have the appropriate insurance.
In court Mr Ali pleaded guilty to one offence under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and not guilty to one offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988.
Mr Ali was convicted of both offences and he was ordered to pay £485 for each offence, £1,123 costs, and a £48.50 victim surcharge. Mr Ali also received six penalty points on his DVLA driving licence for the insurance offence.
In mitigation the defence said that Mr Ali believed he was covered under his own insurance policy.
Councillor Steve Nelson, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Access, Communities and Community Safety, said: “We have a reputable taxi trade across Stockton Borough however this case is a clear reminder that it is illegal for any person to drive a private hire vehicle without first being licensed by the local authority.
“In the majority of cases a vehicle will also not be insured during any journey undertaken by an unlicensed driver and for this reason our officers work proactively to stamp out this practice and keep our residents safe. Drivers who may be tempted to drive private hire vehicles without first being licensed should be warned that they will face tough penalties.”
If you have any questions, concerns or complaints about a Hackney Carriage, private hire vehicle or driver licensed by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council please email [email protected] or telephone 01642 526558.