Council bans taxi drivers from using sat navs because ‘they are dangerous’


A council has banned taxi drivers from using sat navs – claiming they are dangerous and a distraction to drivers.

Research carried out by Bath and North East Somerset Council found that cabbies using the systems were compromising their view of the road.

Liberal Democrat councillor David Dixon, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said drivers will have to rely on their local knowledge.

He said: “It is not unreasonable to expect that a professional licensed driver should be able to have a sound knowledge of the area in which they are licensed.

“On a recent multi agency taxi check 100 per cent of existing taxis already using satellite navigation systems were found by VOSA inspectors to be compromising the drivers view of the road.”

But Cllr Anthony Clarke, Conservative shadow transport spokesman, criticised the decision.

He said: “Sat navs will never be able to trump local knowledge, and of course taxi drivers should have a good knowledge of the area in which they operate.

“But B&NES covers a large area, and there may be instances when a taxi needs to take a passenger to a part of the authority with which they are less familiar.

“There is also clearly a question over how an outright ban would be enforced, as taxis would be allowed to switch their satnavs back on if taking a passenger out of the B&NES area.

“The Council needs to look at this arbitrary ban again, as it clearly hasn’t been thought through.”


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