A private hire driver from Telford has been fined by magistrates for taking passengers who had not booked in advance and for driving while uninsured.
ShropshireLive reports that Shropshire Magistrates, sitting in Telford on Monday 8 February, heard that when police stopped Abdul Wadud he asked his passengers to lie if they were asked whether they had booked the journey.
It followed a joint operation involving Telford & Wrekin Council and West Mercia Police in November 2019 targeting private hire drivers who illegally ply for hire.
In court, Mr Wadud, who is licensed by Shropshire Council, admitted plying for hire and admitted asking his passengers to lie.
He was fined £200 and ordered to pay £350 in costs and a victim surcharge of £32. He was also given six penalty points.
The court reduced the amount of cost it ordered Mr Wadud to pay after hearing he had significant debts following the earlier failure of a takeaway business and has a reduced income because of the pandemic.
Councillor Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Enforcement, said: “We understand the pressures drivers can be under, especially during the pandemic, but we need to balance that by making sure passengers are safe.
"It is illegal for a private hire driver to take a fare that hasn’t booked in advance and it means the journey isn’t insured. Our licensing team is always available to offer help and support.”