ROTHERHAM’S improved taxi regulations — viewed as a gold standard nationally — are to become even more stringent.
Changes including CCTV and audio recording equipment in cabs were introduced in the wake of the child sex scandal.
Now drivers will need to display ID in view of the passenger as part of extra requirements being proposed.
Licensing chairman Cllr Sue Ellis said Rotherham’s standards were among the highest in the country — but RMBC was not complacent.
An initial review took place after 12 months and now — three years on from the new regime — more changes are imminent.
Cllr Ellis said: “Current legislation requires drivers to wear an ID badge on their person.
This doesn’t stop us putting ID in the vehicle.
“It has been raised by people in the trade and people that it seeks to protect. It’s on its way.”
The Government announced in February that taxi standards would be reviewed at a national level, including a consideration for CCTV like Rotherham agreed in 2015.
The Department for Transport said robust new rules would ensure consistency in licensing across the country.
Opposition council member Cllr Nigel Simpson, who raised ID badges several times in meetings, said it was about time RMBC acted on the suggestion.
He added: “I think it’s more than two years ago that an officer said that the idea was going ahead. Then around a year later I had to stand up in full council and almost shout at the cabinet member to assert my reasoning for taxi ID safeguarding.
“The reaction then was seemingly that my frustration showed I must have been unwell! I was assured it was on the agenda.”
Council leader Cllr Chris Read said: “Effective taxi licensing is a priority for the council.
“We will continue to ensure we continue to have high standards, keeping the travelling public safe in the future and that’s why we are bringing forward some proposals for consultation with the public.”
The 2014 Jay report highlighted the “prominent” role of taxis in child sexual exploitation.
There was initial opposition to the CCTV from drivers — but most went on to welcome the extra safeguard.
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