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Government issues statutory guidance on councils sharing safeguarding and road safety concerns with other licensing authorities

The Department for Transport has issued statutory guidance outlining the responsibilities of licensing authorities to share safeguarding and road safety concerns about taxi and private hire vehicle drivers with each other.

The guidance is aimed at helping licensing authorities in England comply with their duties under the Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Act 2022, enacted on 31 March 2022.

The guidance is focused on supporting compliance with the first of the two main aspects of the Act, which will see new duties coming into effect from 31 May 2022. The guidance says these duties mean that “from 31 May 2022, if any licensing authority in England has information about a taxi or PHV driver licensed by another authority that is relevant to safeguarding or road safety concerns in its area, it must share that information with the authority that issued that driver’s licence.

“Any licensing authority provided with such information by another authority must consider whether to suspend or revoke the driver’s licence and inform the authority that shared the information of its decision.”

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The guidance goes on to cover:

  • Reporting safeguarding or road safety concerns about drivers licensed by other licensing authorities
  • What counts as safeguarding and road safety concerns
  • Considering safeguarding or road safety concerns reported by another licensing authority.

The guidance can be viewed here. The DfT stresses that “the guidance does not purport to give a definitive statement of the law and any decisions made by a licensing authority remain a matter for that authority”.

The second aspect of the Act is a requirement for licensing authorities in England to input, into a central database, instances where the authority has refused, suspended, chosen not to renew or revoked a taxi or PHV driver’s licence based wholly or in part on information relating to the driver concerning safeguarding or road safety.

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