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Parents warned to check prom limo operators are safe and legal
11:20am Saturday 28th April 2012 in News
PARENTS are being advised to check on limousine operators to make sure they are safe and legal before booking vehicles for their children’s school prom nights.
The advice comes from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) which, along with local councils and the police, monitors the operators of passenger-carrying vehicles.
The hiring of limousines and other novelty vehicles has become an increasingly popular part of school and college proms and leaving celebrations, so VOSA is taking the opportunity to encourage parents to make sure the vehicles they book are licensed and safe.
It is estimated that there are more than 15,000 limousines operating in Great Britain.
Stretched limousines must hold a licence as a passenger service vehicle - like buses and coaches - or be licenced by a local authority as a private hire vehicle, as taxis are. Without a licence, hiring out limousines is illegal.
Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said: “The limousine and novelty vehicle industry has seen rapid growth in recent years and I want to see these legitimate businesses continue to thrive.
“However, those operating vehicles outside of the law put the safety of their passengers and other road users at risk and create unfair competition for legitimately-run businesses.
“This is something that will not be tolerated and VOSA will make full use of their powers to stop the small minority of cowboy operators who threaten to bring the industry into disrepute."
There are other possible hazards of using an unlicenced company, including:
The driver might not be properly licenced to drive the vehicle.
The vehicle and driver might not be insured
The vehicle might not be built to the necessary safety standards
The vehicle might not be maintained properly and could be dangerous
VOSA is carrying out spot-checks on limousines at prom nights throughout the country during May and June.
VOSA has issued advice to schools and parents on how they can check whether a company is licenced. To check if a company holds a passenger service vehicle licence, visit VOSA’s website or call the helpline on 0300 123 9000. To check if a company holds a private hire licence, contact your local council.
A directory of local councils can be found at direct.gov.uk/en/Dl1/Directories/Localcouncils/index.htm