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Taxi driver worked without driving licence

Friday, November 29th, 2019 7:41am

By Daniel Clark, Local Democracy Reporting Service

He had done 1,369 jobs before it was spotted

A Torbay taxi driver has been given a formal warning after he was found to have been working for five months without a valid driving licence.

Councillors heard Marek Piewiszko had failed to renew his driving licence which expired on May 29 without him knowing.

The problem was discovered in a routine check of DVLA records by Torbay Council’s licensing team.

His dual hackney carriage and private hire licence was immediately suspended on October 31.

Councillors were told that the lack of a valid driving licence would have meant his taxi insurance was invalid.

They were told the driver had done 1,369 jobs during the period without a driving licence, although there had not been any incidents.

Mr Piewiszko attended a hearing of the council’s licensing sub-committee to explain what had happened.

He apologised for the mistake and said he had not received a reminder from the DVLA.

Mr Piewiszko said he was unaware of the expiry date of his driving licence and usually acted quickly on his paperwork.

He told the sub-committee:  “I didn’t get any letter from DVLA. It was my mistake, really I did not know about it.”

Mr Piewiszko’s boss at Torbay Taxis, Paul Le Huray, spoke in support of the driver.

Mr Le Huray said Mr Piewiszko had been working for the firm for 13 years without a complaint and he considered it an “honest mistake”.

He said Mr Piewiszko was one of the firm’s best drivers, popular with customers who often asked for him.

Mr Le Huray said: “I consider he is a decent driver, who helps the customers and keeps his car clean. We have a uniform policy and he is always immaculate.”

The sub-committee accepted it was a genuine mistake and issued Mr Piewiszko with a written warning which would stay on his record for 12 months.

In a separate case, Karl Dooley had his taxi driver licence suspended for three months after failing to inform the council of two speeding offences.

He was told he would have to pass an advanced driver test by the end of February or his dual licence would be revoked.

Councillors were told Mr Dooley had been caught breaking the speed limit on March 11 and again four days later.

A check of DVLA records by the council’s licensing team in October discovered he had been given seven penalty points in total. 

He already had six penalty points and was given three for the first offence, then four and a £250 fine, taking the total to 13.

Mr Dooley was allowed by the court to keep his driving licence which can be revoked after 12 points.

He said he had been dealing with personal issues at the time of the speeding offences which were both just over the limit and had not happened while he was working.

He said he had been waiting for a letter from the court to confirm the number of points after a hearing in October before telling the council’s licensing department, but he was contacted about it before he had the chance.

Mr Dooley said he had been working as a taxi driver for 12 years and had never been in trouble before.

He said: “I work six days a week, I do take my job very seriously and I have never once put any passengers in danger.”

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