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December 2020 - Taxi screens

Important information regarding taxi screens in Hackney carriage and Private Hire vehicles

We remain grateful to drivers for their continued commitment to the meeting the transport needs of the town at these challenging times. We recognise that this is also a difficult time for you and your families.  

We understand that some drivers may have installed screens in their vehicle. Partitions in taxis do not provide a fully sealed compartment and there is currently limited evidence about the effectiveness of temporary screens in reducing the risk of transmission. However, we recognise that you will want to do all you can to protect yourselves, your families and your passengers. We continue to encourage you to follow the Government guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): taxis and PHVs - GOV.UK. This sets out practical steps that you can take to reduce the spread of the virus.

If you do wish to consider the option of using a screen it remains a condition of your licence that the proprietor shall not allow any alteration to the mechanical and structural specifications without prior consent.  This is to ensure that the fitting of such devices does not affect driver or passenger safety, which remains vital. Our current Taxi Licensing Policy also states:

‘A driver or proprietor must ensure that no modifications are made without first seeking approval and if the screen is approved, that an additional camera should be fitted.’

The reason for this is that the screen can affect the protection offered by the CCTV system in your vehicle in terms of driver protection and passenger reassurance and safeguarding.

Whether a screen should be installed is a matter for the vehicle owners, drivers and or operators to consider. If you want to go ahead with a screen installation you must check the following when carrying out your risk assessment:

  • Ensure that all relevant safety legislation is complied with
  • Consider the health and safety responsibilities and personal liability to employees, hirers and passengers
  • Inform insurers of the intention to fit such a device
  • Ensure that the device is installed and maintained in full accordance with the manufacturers specifications and recommendations
  • Ensure that the device does not interfere with the safe operation of the vehicle, including visibility and entry and exit.
  • Ensure that the device is maintained and regularly cleaned with an appropriate product.
  • Arrange to check on the CCTV coverage and if necessary have an additional camera installed by an approved installer in accordance with our policy.

There are a number of different screens available and these should be considered as part of your risk assessment. A permanent solid frame screen must not be fitted and any screen must not be fitted in a way that creates a partition between the two front seats. The screen should be capable of being easily removed and cleaned.

It's important that you submit your risk assessment and supporting information to us before fitting any screen or partition. This can be sent to taxicomplaints@warrington.gov.uk.

For further information please  refer to the  Department for Transport  ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): safety screens for taxis and PHVs Guidance’ for the safe and appropriate fitting of separating screens between the front and rear of a taxi or private hire vehicle: