Buckinghamshire taxi driver loses licence after being caught using mobile phone while driving

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He has been ordered to pay £5,500 in legal fees after an unsuccessful attempt to appeal the ban

A taxi driver operating in Buckinghamshire has lost his private hire licence after he was caught using a mobile phone while driving.

Azhar Iqbal of Littleworth Road, High Wycombe, had his licence revoked after he failed to notify the council of the offence.

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Last month, Iqbal was dealt a further blow after he was ordered to pay £5,500 to the authority after an unsuccessful appeal against his ban.

He was ordered to pay the council's legal costs after an unsuccessful appealHe was ordered to pay the council's legal costs after an unsuccessful appeal
He was ordered to pay the council's legal costs after an unsuccessful appeal

He was stopped by Thames Valley Police officers on the A355 in August 2022. Officers saw Iqbal picking up his phone and talking into the device.

Iqbal did not tell the council about the offence, which breaches the conditions of his private hire licence. He informed the council in April 2023, and was banned from working as a taxi driver four months later.

After this Iqbal appealed the criminal offence, but magistrates upheld the police’s charge. During the hearing police officers were interviewed and bodycam footage from the original incident was shared in court. He was issued with six points on his licence and ordered to pay a fine and court costs totalling £774.

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He also made another court appeal challenging the ban handed out by the council.

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At a hearing at High Wycombe Magistrates Court on 26 April, 2024, a district judge upheld the council’s ban. Iqbal was ordered to pay Buckinghamshire Council’s costs in the case of £5,500.

Councillor Mark Winn said: “Buckinghamshire Council recognises the serious risk presented by mobile phone use while driving. It is a significant distraction and substantially increases the risk of the driver crashing – putting passengers, pedestrians, and other road users at risk of serious harm. Importantly, the handling of mobile phones while driving is completely avoidable and there are many hands-free solutions available.

“The council expects its licensed drivers to maintain professional standards, comply with the law and protect public safety. Licensed drivers who are found driving while using a phone by hand can expect to have their licence revoked in line with our policy.”