POLICE ordered four Taunton taxis off the road after finding 'dangerous defects' during routine checks, it has emerged.

Roads policing unit officers carried out the checks on taxis in Taunton town centre in partnership with the Department of Work and Pensions, VOSA (Vehicle Operator Services Agency), HM Revenue and Customs and Taunton Deane Borough Council’s licensing department.

The compliance checks were carried out on Thursday (March 27) on 20 vehicles. Of those inspected:

Four were given immediate prohibitions, requiring them to be taken off the road as dangerous defects were highlighted.

These included badly worn tyres, exhaust leakage and serious steering/suspension defects.
Four vehicles were given delayed prohibitions, which allows them to continue business for a limited time before a prohibition comes into force).

The defects included having no fuel filler cap fitted, lighting defects, suspension defects and loose batteries.

One driver was operating without his licence badge, as required by regulations by the council.

One vehicle was highlighted as having three defective tyres , while another taxi had three separate defects, with each defect to a level prohibiting the vehicle to be driven on a road.

Other vehicles checked were in a good physical condition and were clearly looked after.

PC Paul Baker of the Taunton RPU said: “It is our priority to help make our roads safer for all. This includes those who choose to travel by public transport.

"For 40% of the vehicles we inspected to have been prevented from further use on our roads due to their dangerous defects, the results appear to be poor.

“Many vehicles checked were found to have been in a good overall condition and those drivers clearly showed a pride in their work.

“However, there are others who do not take time to carry out very basic checks on the vehicles they operate,  who we will - together with our partners – target for flouting the law, to ensure the public are safe and feel safe on our roads."