Council prosecutes taxi driver
Published on Thursday, 6th July 2017
NBBC has successfully prosecuted a local taxi driver for refusing to carry a passenger with a guide dog.
Everyone who is behaving responsibly should have proper acess to public transport - and certainly in our Borough. This is the law and discrimination of this sort is completely unacceptable. It causes distress and we want to extend a warm welcome to visitors to our towns.
When the taxi driver concerned refused to carry the passenger with his assistance dog, the incident was witnessed by another driver and reported to the Council.
NBBC pursued a prosecution under the Equality Act 2010 and at Leamington Spa Magistrates on 31 May 2017, the driver was found guilty. He was ordered to pay more than £600 in fines, costs and victim surcharge.
Under the law, taxi drivers and private hire vehicle drivers cannot refuse to carry assistance dogs, nor charge extra for the journey. Doing so is a criminal offence, and can be punished with fines of up to £1,000. Drivers with genuine and serious medical conditions affected by dogs can apply to the Council for a medical exemption certificate, but will only be exempted from the legal duty to carry assistance dogs if the certificate is on display in the vehicle.
Responding to the conviction, Cllr Gwynne Pomfrett said:
“Discrimination of this sort is completely unacceptable and incidents like this cause great distress to individuals.
“I hope that the Council’s firm action and the financial penalties imposed by the court will deter any future occurrences.
“We will not hesitate to take action against any such discrimination again in the future. It's important that our taxis and private hire vehicles comply with the law and are accessible to everyone. We commend those who hepled make this prosecution successful."
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