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Newcastle City Council has caught numerous unlicensed taxi drivers in a recent sting project.

Last week, the Council decided to “name and shame” the offenders in hopes to reduce the number of people operating taxi services without proper licensing or taxi driver insurance.

The operation was carried out as the number of taxi drivers operating outside of the law continued to grow in the area. The Council is hoping that the recent actions taken to prevent these activities will reassure local residents that something is being done about the problem.

Council bodies became aware that a number of black cab drivers were operating in Newcastle, even though they were licensed only for other areas such as Northumberland and Durham.

Vehicles operating outside of their licensed area do not have active taxi driver insurance as they have not been vetted and authorised by the local council. Any accident or injury that occurs whilst the customer is in the taxi may therefore not be covered by the taxi insurance policy that the taxi driver has.

There have been over 700 vehicles stopped and checked in a bid to weed out illegal taxi drivers and ensure that the city’s cabbies are operating within the law. Drivers that have been found to be breaking the law, either by operating completely unlicensed/outside of their licensed area or not having the correct insurance for taxi drivers, have been prosecuted, received penalty points on their driver’s licenses and some have been heavily fined.