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Bucks taxi driver loses licence after being caught using mobile phone while driving Published Date: 14/05/2024

Buckinghamshire Council has successfully defended in court a decision to revoke a private hire taxi driver’s licence after he was caught using a mobile phone whilst driving.

Mr Azhar Iqbal of Littleworth Road, High Wycombe, was stopped on the A355 by Thames Valley Police officers, after he was seen handling and speaking into a mobile phone whilst driving in August 2022.

Mr Iqbal failed to notify Buckinghamshire Council at the time of the offence, contrary to the conditions of his private hire licence. He eventually notified the council’s Licensing Team in April 2023, and subsequently Mr Iqbal’s private hire licence was revoked by Buckinghamshire Council on 12 October 2023.

Mr Iqbal unsuccessfully attempted to have his original conviction overturned. On 19 December 2023, after hearing evidence from the attending police officers and watching recordings from officers’ body worn cameras, magistrates said they were satisfied that he was guilty of the offence. He was issued with 6 DVLA points and ordered to pay a fine and court costs totalling £774.

Further to Mr Iqbal’s revocation, Buckinghamshire Council received an appeal against the decision to revoke his licence which was heard at Wycombe Magistrates on Friday 26 April 2024. 

The District Judge found the conviction for using a mobile phone was sufficient to justify revoking Mr Iqbal’s licence in accordance with the council’s policy and that there were no exceptional circumstances to justify an alternative decision.  

Mr Iqbal was ordered to pay Buckinghamshire Council’s costs in the case of £5,500.

Mark Winn, Cabinet Member for Homelessness and Regulatory Services, 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.”