Taxi driver pays smoking fine

A Preston taxi driver has been hit with a court fine after being caught smoking in his vehicle.

Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 12:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th June 2017, 9:38 am
Council officers observed the driver smoking in his vehicle

Ghafoor Akthar fell foul of smokefree workplace laws and has been ordered to pay £280 after entering a guilty plea at Preston Magistrates' Court.

In 2011 Mr Akthar had been caught smoking whilst driving another taxi and had paid a fixed penalty of £50 after which he was sent a warning, stating that if he was caught again he was likely to be prosecuted, Preston City Council said.

Magistrates heard the 60-year-old, of Cliffe Court, was observed by council officers smoking a cigarette whilst driving his hackney carriage vehicle on North Road.

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Officers spoke to Mr Akthar on Guild Row outside of Ace Ringway’s taxi office.

He pleaded guilty to smoking in a smokefree place and was fined £50, ordered to pay the Councils costs of £200 and a victim surcharge of £30.

Coun Peter Moss, cabinet member for planning and regulation, said: “The law on not smoking in workplaces and vehicles applies equally to taxi drivers who carry members of the public. They have a greater responsibility in that they need to protect the public health of their passengers.

“The drivers and their passengers must also comply with smoke-free laws. Where they don’t, we will look to take action and prosecute offenders to safeguard people’s health.”