Revellers looking forward to celebrating the New Year are being warned to plan their safe journey home.
South Tyneside Council licences all taxis and private hire cars operating in the borough to guarantee passengers’ safety - ensure drivers are ‘fit and proper’ and to make sure the vehicles are safe.
These include 236 taxis and 331 private hire cars.
Coun Moira Smith, lead member for area management and community safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “We want everyone to have a great night out to mark the New Year but we also want them to plan getting home safe after their celebrations.
“People need to be aware that at this time of year they are more likely to let their guard down, particularly after having consumed alcohol when decision making and judgement can be impaired. We would encourage people to drink responsibly.
“Planning ahead is the key to a safe journey home at this busy time of year. Taxis will be in high demand with most people heading home after the countdown to midnight on New Year’s Eve, so we would encourage people to pre-book their journey home.
“By following some simple but effective advice people can ensure they have safe and happy New Year celebrations.”
Before a night out, people are advised to plan their journey home before they go out. Pre-book a journey home with one of the taxis or private hire cars operating in the borough, if possible.
Tell a family member where they are going and what time they should be due back. Go home with a friend or a group of friends, if possible.
Use one of the designated taxi ranks to get a taxi or have the telephone number of one of the licensed companies operating in the Borough programmed into their mobile phone.
Before you get into any vehicle, check that the vehicle has a licence plate and a permit displayed in the front windscreen.
Ask the driver to show you his/her badge if it’s not clearly visible.
Do not accept lifts from strangers under any circumstances.