'Terrible' Sunderland taxi driver with five speeding convictions loses taxi licence appeal
A Sunderland taxi driver’s attempt to keep hold of his licence has failed after a court heard he had been caught speeding five times.
Shofozul Islam appealed at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court after Sunderland City Council’s Regulatory Committee decided he should lose his taxi licence.
The committee, which oversees and licenses more than 1,200 taxi drivers, made the decision to revoke the driver's licence in February 2020.
It decided he was not a "fit and proper person” because of five speeding offences between July 2016 and October 2019, where he exceeded 30mph limits.
The offences included incidents on the A690 New Durham Road/Burn Park Road in April 2019, where he received six points, and on Dame Dorothy Street in August 2019, where he received three points.
The driver had previously received a warning from licensing officers, then a further warning from the committee, and received a one month suspension of his taxi licence in June 2019.
Committee chairman, Councillor Jill Fletcher said: "We have a duty to protect public safety and to ensure confidence that when using council licensed vehicles and drivers, the public can feel safe.
"Having looked at the evidence on this driver, our committee considered that he was not a safe driver with a good driving record.
"We welcome the decision of magistrates' to dismiss this appeal and uphold the council's decision that he should no longer hold a taxi licence."
The court, which had been delayed in hearing the appeal due to the pandemic, ordered Islam, of Commercial Road, Sunderland, to pay costs of £1,831, a fine of £560 and a victim surcharge of £56.
The bench noted his driving record was “terrible” and rejected his hardship argument.
Coun Fletcher added: "Frankly, we could not recall any other licensed driver who had a driving record that was as 'bad' as this in terms of the number of driving offences amassed in such a short period of time.
"Concern was expressed that if allowed to remain licensed, it was likely, given his past record, that further speeding offences would be committed, or even worse, an accident could occur.
"We very much hope all our licensed drivers will take note of this decision and the importance of driving in accordance with the relevant speed limits.
"Speed limits are in force for a reason."