Liverpool taxi drivers to face random drug tests

Liverpool taxi
Image caption The council said any driver who takes illegal drugs "presents a clear risk to public safety"

Liverpool's taxi drivers could face random drug testing under a proposed new council initiative.

The city council's licensing committee, which backed a plan for tests, found 54 taxis had been stopped for suspected drug-driving since February 2018.

A report stated that while the number was "relatively small", it was now "necessary" to introduce the procedure.

The council said the plan would see it become the first authority outside London to use random urine testing.

If the policy is approved after a six-week consultation, the report said up to 15 of Liverpool's 4,359 licensed drivers would be tested randomly every month, a process which would be funded by the council.

If they fail, they would be liable to have their licence revoked immediately.

The plan would also see new applicants with drug convictions within the last ten years and renewal applicants with convictions within the last three years asked to provide a negative test at the council's discretion and at their own expense.

Tom McIntyre of the union Unite said he welcomed the plans, adding: "The council is trying to protect the travelling public, so as a union, we will back that all we can."

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