On the 3rd March 2021, the UK Government issued guidance for safety screens in taxis and private hire vehicles to hopefully help reduce the possibility of COVID-19 being spread so we thought that drivers of such vehicles may find it beneficial if we highlighted some of the things mentioned in the document that can be viewed in full on the gov.uk website.

Fitting a safety screen should be one of several measures a taxi driver should give consideration to. It is up to the local licensing authority and the taxi driver/owner to decide whether to use a screen. The guidance relates to screens for taxis whose original design did not include a screen.

The screen chosen should be fit for purpose and installed by someone that is competent to do the work. If at all possible, a screen should be installed that is approved or provided by the manufacturer of the taxi or private hire vehicle.

A screen should meet the licensing authority’s regulations. It should be transparent and not have a negative impact on the taxi driver’s vision and be positioned to reduce the possibility of reflections. It should not interfere with things like airbags and seat belts. The screen should not have any sharp edges and not be made of a material which if it were broken results in any sharp edges. The screen should not be flammable or toxic. It should be simple to clean after a passenger has got out and before a new passenger gets into the taxi. It should fit as tight as possible up to the internal sides of the taxi. Taxi drivers should be able to communicate with their passengers. If there is an opening to take a payment from a passenger it should be sealed or closed at all other times. The screen should be maintained correctly and kept clean.

Taxi drivers should get in touch with the insurer of their taxi to let them know they are fitting a screen and to make sure that they meet any of the insurance companies requirements relating to the fitting of it.

On the gov.uk website there is guidance provided as to how the screen should be installed taking into account things like seatbelts, adjustment of the seats, head restraints, the rear view mirror and any airbags in the taxi or private hire vehicle.

We trust that you found the above to be of benefit. Anything that can be done to help prevent the spreading of the coronavirus has got to be welcomed.