Road Traffic Act, 1933

Obligation of street service vehicle driver to accept hire.

144.—(1) Whenever any person (in this section referred to as the intending hirer) requests the driver of a street service vehicle then standing for hire in a fare bye-law area to drive him in such vehicle to a specified place within such area and tenders to such driver the lawful fare for such service it shall be the duty of such driver to comply with such request and if he fails or refuses so to do he shall, unless he has a reasonable excuse for such failure or refusal, be found guilty of an offence under this section and shall on summary conviction thereof be liable to a fine not exceeding two pounds.

(2) For the purpose of this section—

(a) a street service vehicle which has been hired by any person shall not, while such hiring continues, be deemed to be standing for hire, and

(b) proof that a mechanically propelled vehicle had affixed thereto a vehicle plate, and (if in a taximeter area) was fitted with a taximeter, and (in any case) was not occupied by any person other than the driver thereof, and was stationary in a public place in a fare bye-law area shall be evidence, until the contrary is proved, that such vehicle was standing for hire.

(3) Whenever the driver of a street service vehicle is charged with an offence under this section and the intending hirer in relation to whom such offence is alleged to have been committed does not appear at the hearing in court of such charge or the court is satisfied that such driver at the time when such offence was alleged to have been committed had been hired by another person and such hiring had not terminated or that such driver had a reasonable excuse for the failure or refusal which constituted such alleged offence and that such driver civilly informed such intending hirer of such previous hiring or of such excuse (as the case may be), the court may order such intending hirer to pay the costs of the proceedings and also to pay to such driver such reasonable sum as the court shall specify as compensation for his loss of time in attending in court at the hearing.