News Item

Satnav banned from taxis

New licence conditions for taxis in Bath and North East Somerset will ban drivers from using satellite navigation.

This week's Bath & North East Somerset Council Cabinet meeting agreed upon new conditions and modifications for licensing taxi drivers throughout the area.

These included a new condition: ‘Satellite or GPS Navigation systems are prohibited whilst on hire or available for hire within the boundaries of Bath & North East Somerset Council’. It applies to both hackney carriages and private hire vehicles.

The Deputy Leader explains 'It is not unreasonable to expect that a professional licensed driver should be able to have a sound knowledge of the area in which they are licensed. Satellite Navigation systems do not always provide the most appropriate route and are unable to take account of local transient conditions that a professional driver should be aware of.'

But he did concede that it would not be unreasonable for a driver who is required to undertake a journey which ends or starts outside of the licensed area to be able to use a satnav for the unfamiliar area.

It seems that in a recent multi-agency taxi check undertaken in the area, all existing taxis already using satnav systems were found by Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) inspectors to be compromising drivers' view of the road by being installed within the swept area of the windscreen.

The systems were required to be removed by VOSA immediately, as they were considered to be in contravention of construction and use regulations.

  • 15 November 2013
  • LNLG

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