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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Taxi safety

Travelling by taxi or minicab is generally very safe, but it is important to take sensible precautions, like making sure the vehicle is licensed. Find out what you can do to stay safe.

Make sure your taxi or private hire vehicle is legal

A taxi or private hire vehicle (minicab) that is unlicensed is operating illegally and has not gone through the proper checks that licensing authorities enforce.

Do not use a cab if:

  • the driver appears to be under the influence of alcohol
  • the driver does not seem to know the local area
  • the vehicle seems to be too old for use as a cab
  • the vehicle is in a state of disrepair

Safety tips while travelling

It is a good idea to:

  • make a note of the number plate and driver's licence number and text them to someone as an extra precaution
  • take a picture of the vehicle if you have a camera phone
  • always sit in the back of the vehicle
  • carry your mobile phone in your hand so it is easily accessible

Taxi safety in London

Transport for London (TfL) has initiatives to make taxi travel safer throughout London.

Marshalled ranks

Throughout London, there are several marshalled ranks where the marshal will make sure you get a licensed cab. The marshall will also make sure the driver knows your destination.

Marshalled ranks operate only in certain areas and at certain times of night, usually only at weekends.

Making sure a taxi is licensed in London

Transport for London (TfL) runs a Cab Unit that is dedicated to keeping passengers safe by:

  • stopping minicab touting
  • catching drivers who are unlicensed or unsafe

It is vital that you make sure your taxi or minicab is licensed. TfL has an online database which allows you to search for licensed operators.

You can also text 'home' to 60835 to receive a message listing local licensed operators.

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