MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE DRIVERS
- Meeting of Licensing, Health and Safety and General Purposes Committee, Wednesday, 19th November 2014 6.00 p.m. (Item 11.)
The Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment reported upon a request to give authorisation to officers to consult Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Drivers, Vehicle and Operator licence holders and members of the public in respect of a review of the medical requirements for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers.
The Licensing Manager informed Members of the current requirements for an individual to be granted a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Driver Licence which included an applicant being fit and proper to hold such a licence and that the provisions of Section 57(2) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 specifically allows a local authority to require a medical certificate certifying that the applicant for a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Driver Licence is physically fit to undertake that role.
Members were advised therefore that one of the current requirements included a satisfactory medical, and that following the grant of a licence, licensed drivers were not required to undertake a further medical check until they reached the age of 65 years when medical checks were then required annually on renewal of the licence.
It was reported that officers had concerns that there was a lack of medical checks on licensed drivers from the time that they were granted a licence until the age of 65 years as this was not in accordance with published guidelines as well as the standards imposed by other local authorities and it was considered both appropriate and necessary to review the current medical requirement to protect the public and have positive health outcomes for licensed drivers.
A consultation had previously taken place in respect of a review of the medical requirements for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers which had received a poor response and the current requirements had been challenged by a licensed driver which was considered in the County Court in January 2014. Therefore, Members were requested to give authorisation to officers to undertake further consultation on a number of options for medical checks to be undertaken by licensed drivers and report the outcome back to a future meeting of this Committee.
The options to go out for consultation were set out within the report and Members were also provided with details of the frequency of medicals by other local authorities in Merseyside.
In response to queries from Members, the Licensing Manager also agreed to include a further Option to be consulted upon. This option is the requirement currently imposed in St Helen’s, namely ‘to require medical checks on initial application, age 45, age 55, age 65 and then annually’.
(1) That Members authorise officers to undertake consultation regarding the medical requirement for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers on the following options:
Option 1 to require medical checks to be undertaken on initial application and then annually from age 65, as currently.
Option 2 to require medical checks on initial application and thereafter annually.
Option 3 to require medical checks to be undertaken on initial application and thereafter every three years to coincide with the current requirement for Disclosure and Barring Service criminal records checks, with checks being undertaken annually from age 65.
Option 4 to require medical checks on initial application and thereafter every five years, with checks being undertaken annually from age 65.
Option 5 to require medical checks on initial application and thereafter for each renewal, with checks being undertaken annually from age 65.
Option 6 to require medical checks on initial application and subsequently every five years from the age of 45 years until the age of 65 years, when checks would be undertaken annually. This would be in line with Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) requirements for LGV and PCV drivers.
Option 7 to require medical checks on initial application, age 45, age 55, age 65 and then annually.
(2) That the consultation be undertaken over a six week period.