Christmas revellers urged to stay safe by taking a taxi

Coun Nancy Maxwell with Paul Pearce, chairman of South Tyneside's Hackney Carriage Association.
Coun Nancy Maxwell with Paul Pearce, chairman of South Tyneside's Hackney Carriage Association.

Council bosses are aiming to make festive celebrations in South Tyneside enjoyable - and safe.

Residents and visitors are being urged to take care to ensure they have a safe journey home.

The council licences 236 taxis and 315 private hire cars to help protect passengers, ensure drivers are ‘fit and proper’ and to make sure the vehicles are safe.

People enjoying Christmas get-togethers are advised to take a few simple precautions, such as pre-booking a taxi home from a licensed operator or using one of the designated ranks across South Tyneside.

Coun Nancy Maxwell, lead member for area management and community safety, at South Tyneside Council, said: “We want everyone to have a great time on their nights out and we want them to remember their evening for all the right reasons.

“This is a time of year when people are more likely to let their guard down, particularly after consuming alcohol, when their judgement or decision-making can be impaired.

“Therefore we would not only encourage them to drink responsibly, but highlight a few simple but effective messages about personal safety.

“The key to a safe journey home is to plan ahead. We would urge people to arrange their journey home in advance with a licensed company that they know and trust.

“Alternatively, use one of the designated taxi ranks.”

Before a night out, people are advised to:-

* Plan their journey home.

* Pre-book a journey home with one of the taxis or private hire cars operating in the borough, if possible.

* Tell a family member where they are going and what time they should be due back.

* Go home with a friend or a group of friends, if possible.

* Use one of the designated taxi ranks or have the telephone number of one of the licensed companies operating in the borough programmed into their mobile phone.

* Before getting into any vehicle, check that the vehicle has a licence plate and a permit displayed in the front windscreen.

* Ask the driver to show his/her badge if it’s not clearly visible.

* Do not accept lifts from strangers under any circumstances.

Passengers are also urged to try to remember some details about the vehicle they use, the driver’s licence number or part of the vehicle’s registration number.

To report any taxi-related concerns, or get advice, contact the council’s licensing team on 0191 424 7695.