Call for disability training for taxi drivers

By Harriet Ernstsons Wednesday 02 January 2013 Updated: 02/01 15:53

COUNCILLORS have called for disability training to be made compulsory for all taxi drivers.

A report is currently being drawn up to look at the feasibility of offering awareness sessions to drivers, which will include information about assisting residents with disabilities in and out of taxis.

If implemented, the proposals from the Access for Disabled People Task Group would also see licences offered for a longer period of time for vehicles which have been adapted for wheelchair use.

But borough councillors considering the issue have called for the training to be made mandatory for all drivers.

Coun Joe Baker said anyone working with disabled people in other sectors, such as nursing, was required to be trained so the same should apply to taxi drivers.

"If something happens to that person while in a taxi and they're not trained to deal with that, there is something seriously wrong here. I think they should be forced to do it."

Coun Juliet Brunner added: "I think it should be mandatory. If they are taking people who have special needs they need to have that training."

She added a scheme used in London where cabs have cards to show they are trained, could be introduced in Redditch.

The report is due to be considered by the council's licensing committee at a later date.

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