Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Council urges caution over limos

With the end of term fast approaching and with it the annual school ‘prom’ or summer ball, Rushmoor Borough Council is warning parents booking transport for their hopeful prom kings and queens to ensure the vehicle, driver and operator are properly licensed.

As with black cabs and private hire vehicles, stretch limousines, including stretched 4x4 vehicles, their drivers and booking agents are legally required to have a special licence issued by the Council, parents are warned. In fact, the rule applies to any hire vehicle that can carry eight or less passengers and comes with a driver.

This is to make sure the vehicles are safe and their drivers are suitable and insured. Limousines are made in the United States and only licensed there for three to five years, after which time they are shipped over to the UK and Europe. These types of vehicles need to be checked regularly by an authorised garage to make sure they meet mechanical and safety standards. Some limousines can carry more than eight passengers and these must also be licensed, but as Public Service Vehicles with the local Traffic Commissioner.

Drivers and operators also have to have enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and other suitability checks before they are issued with licences.

John McNab, Environmental Health Manager, advised: “When you’re booking transport check that the booking operator has a licence number. You can then confirm this number with the Council’s licensing team on 01252 398855. On the night, the driver will also be able to show you his or her licence, licence plate and driver’s badge.”
Cllr Clifford says " make sure your children are in safe hands - do not assume anything. Our young people are out for a good time after a lot of hard work, the school proms are always well organised and safe - lets make sure they get there and back safely too."

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