A PRIVATE hire operator and a driver have been fined for transporting children to school without the correct licence.
Licensing officers were carrying out routine vehicle and driver checks at a school in Reading on 23rd November 2016 when they stopped Muhammad Kayani, 45, of Cumberland Road, east Reading.
Mr Kayani was delivering children to the school in a licensed private hire vehicle but he did not hold a private hire vehicle driver’s licence.
When asked to show his photographic driver’s badge, which all licensed drivers must carry while on duty, he told officers he did not have it with him and gave a false name and licence number belonging to a licensed driver.
Mr Kayani appeared before Reading Magistrates on 12th May 2017 where he admitted:
· Driving a private hire vehicle without a licence and obstructing an authorised officer without reasonable cause – fined £266.
· No insurance – fined £133, DVLA licence endorsed with six penalty points.
He was also ordered to pay legal costs of £250 and a victim surcharge of £30, bringing the total sum to £679.
The private hire vehicle operator, Zafer Iqbal, 42, of ASR Travel Ltd, was working as a school escort on the same vehicle and backed up Mr Kayani when he gave a false name and licence number.
Mr Iqbal, of Cressingham Road, Reading, also appeared before Reading Magistrates on 12th May where he admitted operating a private hire vehicle, the driver of which did not have a licence, and obstructing an authorised officer without reasonable cause, for which he was fined £266.
He was also ordered to pay legal costs of £250 and a victim surcharge of £30, bringing the total amount to £546.
Councillor Sarah Hacker, Lead Member for Consumer Services, said:
“Well done to the Council’s Licensing and Legal teams for the successful outcomes of these cases.
“Regular routine checks like this help to protect public safety by ensuring private hire and taxi operators abide by the rules, otherwise they run the risk of receiving hefty fines from the courts.”