Taxi drivers in North Somerset will have to attend compulsory safeguarding training to help tackle child sexual exploitation.
North Somerset Council is expected to sign off on its Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licensing policy for 2018-2023 at a meeting next week.
Under the new policy, mandatory safeguarding training will be introduced for all drivers.
This has been introduced in a number of other council’s across the country in a bid to address growing concerns over children and others vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking.
According to North Somerset , the training will not only apply to existing Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers but also to beginners going through the job application process.
The other main change to the policy will see vehicles more than eight-years-old only be issued with a six-month licence, all other vehicles will be subject to the usual annual licence review.
Also, previously, it has been a requirement that taxi vehicles need to be under eight years old at first license.
As part of the revision of the policy, the council has proposed that this age be reduced to five years.
Changes to the policy follow a public consultation held earlier this year.
A spokesman from North Somerset Council said: “Following a public consultation, the council has agreed that taxi drivers can continue to own vehicles that are eight-years-old, as per the previous policy, but they must renew their license every six months, instead of annually.
“This is to ensure vehicles are at a suitable standard to protect public safety.”
North Somerset full council is expected to meet on Tuesday (September 25) to officially approve the policy.
A petition calling for Erewash cabbies to be allowed to have fully-tinted windows in their taxis has been rejected over fears that vehicles could be used to enable the abuse of vulnerable children and adults.