Taxi driver pays smoking fine
A Preston taxi driver has been hit with a court fine after being caught 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.
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.”