Warning over ‘fake’ taxi operators in Exmouth: ‘You are putting your life in your hands’

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 April 2018

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Residents in Exmouth who use ‘fake’ taxis from unlicensed operators found on social media have been told ‘you are taking your life in your hands’ by concerned town councillors.

Fears were raised about the increase in such drivers when the authority met for its April meeting.

Members were told that some people had taken advantage of pop-up internet taxi firms without knowing whether they are licensed with East Devon District Council (EDDC).

Councillor Pauline Stott called for EDDC to carry out ‘spot-checks’ in Exmouth.

She said: “I know it has come up on social media and at various holiday times that people have been offering lifts and someone actually put the prices.

“Perhaps we should ask East Devon whether they could do another spot-check.”

Cllr Brian Bailly warned that getting into a taxi without knowing whether it is licensed is ‘foolish’, adding: “The way to check is to look at the back of the vehicle - if it has a blue plate with East Devon District Council on it, then it’s a licensed vehicle.

“If you’re in an unlicensed vehicle, there is no insurance on that vehicle - so you are literally putting your life in your hands and I would deter anyone from doing it.”

Cllr Maddie Chapman said: “If you are going to get someone on social media to pick you up because he’s a taxi driver then you are putting your own safety at risk – this is why we have licensed taxi drivers.”

Cllr Chapman also said it is up to licensed taxi drivers in Exmouth to report those they believe are providing the ‘fake’ taxi services.

She added: “If a taxi driver knows someone has done this, they need to be reported and also report them to the police.”

Cllr Tim Dumper said he would be raising the problem with EDDC.

Cllr Steve Gazzard requested for a letter be written from the town council to EDDC’s licensing team to make it aware of the issue and the concerns raised.

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