Police crackdown on London rickshaws

Passengers on a rickshaw in Soho, London
Image caption London authorities say the rickshaws can pose a danger

A police crackdown on rickshaw taxis in central London is being stepped up with a publicity campaign.

The pedal-powered taxis do not need any licence but officers warn they are often unroadworthy and uninsured.

Police claim the vehicles can also be ridden recklessly or cause obstructions.

A total of 35 rickshaws have been impounded by officers. Almost 200 riders have been given a formal warning and 19 fined.

The initiative which began in October, is now being stepped up with Mayor of London Boris Johnson launching a publicity campaign to warn people about getting into the vehicles.

'Flouting the rules'

He said: "Unregulated rickshaw riders who block the streets and ride recklessly through the West End in unroadworthy vehicles pose a real danger both to passengers and to other road users.

"We are sending out a clear message that this will not be tolerated and we are taking firm action to ensure we keep Londoners and visitors safe."

Sgt Christian Ardron said: "This operation is all about tackling those riders who are flouting the rules and are a danger to themselves, their passengers and other road users.

"In the run up to Christmas, the West End becomes increasingly busy and these operations have helped us remove problem pedicabs from the area, leaving it as safe as possible for the rest of the community and the other riders in the run up to the festive period."

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