Welsh Police Crack Down on Gypsy Operators

Posted on December 10, 2008 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

CARDIFF, Wales – MORE than two thirds of vehicles bringing revelers into Cardiff from across South Wales are unfit for the road.

A police operation to crack down on unroadworthy limousines, minibuses, and taxis stopped 22 vehicles during a five-hour sting.

Some were carrying up to 16 revelers on their way into the city centre for the Christmas party season.

Marked police cars and officers from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) directed cars to a temporary examination unit outside the Bute Building on King Edward VII Avenue on Friday night.

Officers from VOSA inspected 14 of the 22 vehicles, checking for faults in areas like tires, lights, steering, brakes and fitted seatbelts. Of those inspected, 10 had problems which meant they should not have been on the road.

Drivers were also put through checks by Cardiff council’s licensing team, to ensure they had the correct paperwork for the size and type of vehicle they were driving.

Sergeant Scott Lloyd, of the Cardiff Central Neighbourhood Team, said: “The operation was very successful in highlighting the poor condition of some of the public service vehicles that operate within our community.

“Whilst disappointed with the fact that more than two thirds of the public service vehicles were not fit for purpose, it is imperative we focus our resources to ensure that the members of public that travel in minibuses and taxis arrive at their location safely.”

Drivers of the unroadworthy vehicles will now have to fix the faults by law before they can continue to be used on the road.

Some of the drivers will also be prosecuted for the relevant motoring offences while the local authority will take separate actions against the Cardiff taxis found to be unfit during the sting.

Sgt Lloyd added: “A lot of limousine drivers don’t realize they have to have a drinks license to serve alcohol because they are basically a mobile bar. These people have a great amount of responsibility because they are carrying the most passengers so it’s our duty to make sure they are safe.”

Source: South Wales Echo

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