Get Home Safely this Festive Season
With many people enjoying festive celebrations, South Tyneside Council is calling on people to make sure they have a safe journey home.
The Council licenses 236 taxis and 270 private hire vehicles to help protect passengers, ensure drivers are 'fit and proper' and to make sure the vehicles they operate are safe.
As many prepare to enjoy a tipple or two, they are advised to take a few simple precautions to ensure they get home safely.
Revellers are encouraged to either pre-book a taxi from a licensed operator or use one of the designated taxi ranks across the Borough.
Councillor Jim Foreman, Lead Member for Housing and Community Safety, said: "Our bars and restaurants are always packed at this time of year, and we want people to be able to enjoy their night out, whilst also being able to get home safely.
"This is the time of year where people enjoy themselves the most and are more likely to let their guard down. Therefore, we encourage people to not only drink responsibly, but to also not get in any taxi they have doubts about.
"The key to a safe journey home is to plan ahead. We would urge people to arrange their journey home in advance with a licensed company that they know and trust. Alternatively, use one of the designated taxi ranks."
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 getting into any vehicle, check that the vehicle has a licence plate and a permit displayed in the front windscreen.
• Ask the driver to show his/her badge if it's not clearly visible.
• Do not accept lifts from strangers under any circumstances.
Passengers are also urged to try to remember some details about the vehicle they use, the driver's licence number or part of the vehicle's registration number should a problem arise.
To report any taxi-related concerns, or get advice, contact the Council's Licensing Team on 0191 424 7695.