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Risk of “lifts” highlighted

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Risk of “lifts” highlighted 3rd January 2019

The Times as recently reported on the growing industry of “doing lifts” and the dangers associated with this.

“Doing lifts” refers to a growing trend where people with cars are connecting, primarily on social media, with people who are looking for a lift.  Normally, the person offering the use of a car and a driver will charge a fee for providing the lift service.

According to the Times’ reported, they found “18 Facebook groups with a total of more than 50,000 members where people advertised or sought “lifts” for cash from drivers without taxi or private hire licenses. Many lifts drivers are students and others are in their teens or twenties. They ferry people to and from clubs and house parties, taking their highest earnings on New Year’s Eve.”

The report also said: “Drivers and passengers often claim that licensed taxis are too expensive or are unavailable on busy nights but the police warn that clients risk travelling in unsafe or uninsured cars with drivers who could be sexual predators.”

Payment is mostly negotiated in private messages, although fares appear to be significantly higher than the 45p per mile that HM Revenue & Customs says is the cost of petrol and running a car, but they do undercut local cab fares.”

Stephen McCaffrey, head of Taxi Driver Defence Barristers, said: “This practice is unlawful unless the driver, vehicle and operation are properly licensed.”

He added: “The scandal will break when someone is raped or killed in the back of one of these cars. The story won’t be that it happened, but that the authorities knew about it but didn’t do anything.”

Source: Times

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