Three unsafe taxis in Harrogate have been ordered off the road after they were deemed 'defective' during a vehicle safety check.
A total of 25 vehicles were safety checked between 7pm-11pm on Friday, November 6, including if the drivers were properly licensed or using illegal road fuel.
The three taxis which were ordered off the road all displayed a variety of defects relating to tyres, breaks and seatbelts with one being clamped by officers from the the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
Two other drivers were punished by a delayed prohibition notice, giving them seven days to rectify the detfects with another two given advisory notices for light and brake failures.
A number of drivers were also warned by taxi inspectors about breaching taxi licensing rules and Traffic Sergeant Andy Morton criticised the drivers endangering their passengers lives.
He said: "Whilst I know the majority of taxi drivers are responsible people and do maintain their vehicles, I was disappointed by the fact that almost half of the vehicles which underwent a mechanical inspection had some form of defect.
"Four of these vehicles had defects which were so serious that their taxi plates were suspended by Harrogate Borough Council and three were prohibited from being driven on the road at all.
“Some of these drivers had full knowledge that their vehicles had defects, but continued to drive anyway which isn't acceptable and puts the lives of passengers at risk.
"With the festive season fast approaching, we will continue to work in partnership with our colleagues in the other agencies; to raise standards and awareness of the importance of vehicle safety and enforce the regulations to keep the public of North Yorkshire safe."
Sergeant Morton warned drivers of their responsibility to ensure their vehicle is free of defects and stressed further operations were planned in the coming months.
The checks were organised by North Yorkshire Police Road Policing Group, Harrogate Borough Council, the DSVA and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
A previous similar operation took place in 2014, where upon inspection a significant number of vehicles were also found to be defective.
Coun John Ennis, Harrogate Borough Council’s Licensing Committee Chairman warned drivers that action would be taken if they fell short of the required standards.
He said: "“Harrogate Borough Council considers the safety of the travelling public in licensed hackney carriage and private hire vehicles to be paramount.
"I would like to express my thanks to all parties involved and hope that this operation demonstrates our commitment to passenger safety."