Transport for London along with the Metropolitan Police Service have worked in partnership to produce a leaflet for Private Hire & Taxi drivers in London, which contains practical information on how to stay safe while working as a driver.
We’ve had a read and found a lot of the information is like what is covered on the TfL SERU assessment. The information is vital for private hire drivers and should in some way be common sense, but a reminder is always good.
Here is a breakdown of the information on the Stay Safe while Working leaflet.
1. How to keep your money and possessions safe
a. Don’t leave cash in central vehicle consoles such as the space near the gear stick or cupholders.
b. Limit the amount of cash you carry.
c. Keep your phone out of reach from passengers and it’s a good idea to keep a note of your IMEI number. This helps identify your phone or block it, if it does get stolen. You can find our phones IMEI number by typing *#06#
d. If you are threatened with a weapon of any kind, call 999 immediately and do not risk your personal safety.
2. How to stay safe while driving
a. If a passenger asks you to stop suddenly or diverts the journey into quieter areas, try to only stop in a place with good lighting and other people present.
b. Beware of techniques used to make you leave your vehicle, such as requests to adjust seats or to access the boot.
c. In the case you must leave your vehicle, make sure you switch ignition off and take your keys with you.
3. Resources you can use.
a. You can use a lone working device, they’re now available with emergency contact with monitoring stations. So, if you press the alarm, someone will be notified to send help.
b. Private Hire Vehicles can have TfL approved CCTV systems installed, these are a great way to deter incidents and capture evidence.
c. Add a vehicle tracking device, if your car gets stolen you can use the system to re-locate your vehicle. Such devices may even help reduce insurance premiums.
4. Report incidents
a. Always report suspected crimes to the police
b. If you’re in an emergency call 999 immediately. Non-emergencies can be reported by calling 101.
c. Make sure you tell your operator; they are required to keep a record of every booking and if an incident occurred, they will be able to share the details with TfL or the Police to investigate any crimes.
From our own experience, incidents can occur time to time. While driving as a Private Hire Driver for over 10 years we’ve personally had at least 5 incidents which needed to be reported. So be rest assured that crimes don’t happen as often but when they do happen, it’s good to know what to do. We hope you all stay safe on the road.