Sunderland taxi driver loses appeal against suspension after being caught speeding on A19

A Sunderland cabbie has failed in his appeal against a month-long suspension of his taxi driver’s licence for failing to report a speeding offence within the required timeframe.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 3:26 pm
The appeal was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

David Gardner Colledge, of Cheltenham Road, appealed against the decision made by Sunderland City Council' s Licensing and Regulatory Committee to suspend his licence after he was convicted in March of a speeding offence in September, 2019.

Magistrates were told that Mr Colledge had exceeded the average 50mph speed limit along the A19 at Testo’s Roundabout, travelling at 66mph.

No passengers were in the vehicle when the offence was committed in the early hours of the morning. Mr Colledge received six penalty points on his licence for speeding.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sunderland City Council said: “One of the terms for holding a taxi licence is that a licensed driver is required to inform the council of any motoring offences in writing within 72 hours.

"Although Mr Colledge reported the offence to the Council’s Licensing Section, despite previous warnings, he failed to do this within the required 72 hours of conviction. This was the third time he had failed to report a speeding conviction within the required time scale.”

Mr Colledge's appeal against the one month suspension of his hackney carriage licence was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court on Tuesday, September 21, where it was dismissed.

Councillor Jill Fletcher, Chair of Sunderland City Council's Licensing and Regulatory Committee, which oversees taxi licences, said: “I am extremely pleased that the court agreed with the Committee’s decision.

"We have a duty to protect public safety and to ensure that residents, visitors and those working in our city have confidence that when they use a licensed taxi, their journey will be safe.

"Public safety is our paramount consideration. Motoring convictions whilst licensed can show that a professional driver is not taking their responsibilities seriously.

"Under the terms of their licence, taxi drivers have to disclose to the council in writing, details of any caution or conviction for any offence within 72 hours. The council will then decide whether the licence should be suspended or revoked, having regard to the offence and the circumstances.

"It is vitally important that this notification provision is complied with by all licensed drivers. Unfortunately, there seems to be a growing trend for drivers not to comply with this requirement.

"Whilst acknowledging the committee could have imposed a suspension of up to 12 months, the court agreed that the one month’s suspension was appropriate in the circumstances. The court noted Mr Colledge had failed on three occasions to notify of speeding offences within 72 hours.

"I hope this decision reinforces the importance of driving within the relevant statutory speed limits, plus the importance of complying with the notification requirements."