The Applicant was in attendance.
The Licensing Officer introduced the report and drew attention to the following:
· On application for a Private Hire Driver License, a DVLA check established that the Applicant had three convictions from 2017/18. This includes driving without due care and attention (CD10) and two speeding offences.
· CD10 is considered a major offense and the committee is requested to refuse this application.
· If there are two major offenses within a 5 year period this would recommend a 5 year suspension.
· Although the other offences were minor, there is a pattern of offending behaviour that stretches back to 1993.
· There is an expectation that applicants should have 12 months of clean conduct on record before granting a license.
The driver gave evidence as follows:
· The driver supplied a collection of good character references to the committee.
· He understands that public safety is the highest consideration for the committee when considering license applications and acknowledges the offences that have caused his license to be suspended.
· He acknowledged that it has been a long time since he took his driving test and his skills may have deteriorated. He has enrolled on an advanced driver skills course beginning in March to improve his ability and the service he can give the public.
· Following suspension, he has been unable to work for 6 months. He is a carer for his elderly mother. As a taxi driver he can work around her needs.
· His suspension is causing significant financial hardship and he is in danger of losing the family home. The stress is causing health problems.
Following questions from Committee, the following was established:
· That the driver’s licence was not suspended, but was not renewed because of driving convictions.
· The October 2018 conviction was a collision with a cyclist while pulling out of a junction.
· There is a pattern of speeding offences since the 1990s. The driver admitted that the full history looks bad, but that he is determined to be more careful now and not bow to pressure to work quickly. He cannot afford to lose his license and is pursuing an advanced driving skills course.
The Committee noted that the Applicant had been convicted of an offence of driving without due care and attention involving a collision with a cyclist that occurred in October 2018. The Conviction was dated around May 2019. This is classed as a major traffic offence under the Council’s policy on offending behaviour.
It was also noted that there were a number of speeding offences over a period of time which demonstrated a pattern of offending behaviour giving rise to more of a cause for concern.
Under the Council’s policy a period of at least 6 months free from conviction is usually recommended before an application will be entertained in respect of an offence of driving without due care and attention.
The Applicant was therefore outside of the policy when looking at the most recent conviction in isolation. But, the pattern of poor driving standards over a period of time was a concern.
However, the Committee were impressed that the Applicant had provided proof that he had enrolled on an advanced driving course that he was due to start in March 2020. In the circumstances, it was determined that he could be granted a licence for a period of one year subject to an additional condition that by the time he applies to renew his licence, he will have successfully completed the advanced driving course and provided proof to the Licensing office of this.
Applicant is not exempt from taking the Gold Standard course.
Should there be any further driving endorsements prior to being granted the license, the matter will be brought back to PSP committee for consideration.