A ROTHERHAM private hire driver has been fined for illegally plying for trade.
Akbar Ali was landed with a £490 bill and six penalty points following a joint operation between Rotherham Borough Council's Community Protection Unit and South Yorkshire Police during which he was found to be picking up passengers illegally in the town centre.
Only official Hackney cabs, which are coloured white in Rotherham and identifiable by the yellow taxi sign on the roof, are insured to pick up passengers when hailed in the street.
Private hire vehicles can be any colour but can only carry passengers who have pre-booked.
Cllr Peter Wootton, chairman of the council’s Licensing Board, said the safety of the public was the board’s main concern.
He added: “Any member of the public who gets into a private hire vehicle without pre-booking should be fully aware that they will not be insured in the event of an accident.
“That is how the industry works and how it is regulated and that is why the Licensing Board will work together with taxi companies to clamp down on this kind of offence for the benefit of public safety.”