By Oliver Hall
Safety crackdown campaigns surrounding taxis have revealed some alarming statistics during the festive season.
Spot checks have highlighted how many are being driven with illegal tyres and defective brakes and are not safe to be on the road.
In a crackdown by Coventry police a total of 23 private hire vehicles and Hackney Carriage taxis travelling along Foleshill Road were stopped during the blitz .
Officers, along with taxi licensing officers, benefit investigators and officers from the Vehicle Operator Services Agency were on hand to conduct checks during a three-hour operation.
Of those stopped and checked, 15 were found to have defects and their drivers were stopped from using them as taxis until the faults were corrected.
Among the defects discovered were illegal tyres, defective suspension, steering and brakes and meters not giving an accurate time, which could lead passengers to be overcharged.
Pc Dean Wainwright said: “The operation – particularly with such bad weather at the moment – is very worrying, as most of the defects are down to routine maintenance.
“There is no excuse for having a taxi with bald tyres, even if the “All it takes is five to ten minutes to check all the lights are working, the tyres are in order, and just general checks of the vehicle.”