A Hull taxi driver was told he would be prosecuted for something that is “completely legal”.
HullLive reports that Steven Leadley, 64, was driving a female customer and her one-year-old child in August, when a police officer on a motorbike pulled the PHV to the side of the road.
After the officer told him he was breaking the law for carrying an unrestrained child in the back seat, Mr Leadley was then told he should expect notification of his prosecution in the post within 28 days.
“I’ve been a taxi driver for 39 years and I think I know what the laws are,” said Mr Leadley.
“The baby was sitting on the mother’s lap in the back of the car, and the law states that can happen up until the age of three. The officer knocked on my window and told me it was an offence, and I told him it wasn’t. Then he told me he would ring me within 24 hours if he was wrong, otherwise I would be facing prosecution.
“I still haven’t received that phone call and nobody at the police station can get hold of any traffic officers.”
Mr Leadley went straight to the licensing department of Hull City Council and was provided with a copy of the laws stating that taxis and PHVs are allowed to drive with unrestrained children under the age of three if they are held by an adult.
He said: “I took the sheet of paper straight to Clough Road police station and they said they couldn’t get hold of anybody in traffic because they’re based in Welton.
“I went back the next day and they still couldn’t get hold of anybody, so now I’m awaiting prosecution for a law that was never broken.”
However, if one is not available in a taxi then the child may travel unrestrained in the back.
Chief Inspector Mark Bishop of Humberside Police roads policing unit, said: “On considering the circumstances of this particular case, there appears to be no specific offence under the road traffic legislation, or any contravention of the taxi licence conditions, of carrying a child under three years of age in the rear of a taxi and we will be contacting the driver to advise him accordingly.”
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.