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Taxi Drivers Are Exempt From One Driving Law Everyone Else Must Follow

Joe Harker

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Taxi Drivers Are Exempt From One Driving Law Everyone Else Must Follow

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

When it comes to the rules of the road they're usually best obeyed unless you want to end up with a fine or sitting through a speed awareness course being bored to death.

Nobody wants to get pulled over and told off for speeding, and people definitely don't want to face some of the more dangerous consequences that come with breaking the traffic laws.

However, one group on the road is exempt from one of the biggest laws which affect drivers all over the UK, and it turns out it's taxi drivers who get let off.

Taxi drivers don't have to wear seatbelts. Credit: Ian Davidson / Alamy Stock Photo
Taxi drivers don't have to wear seatbelts. Credit: Ian Davidson / Alamy Stock Photo

While everyone else getting in a car has to wear a seatbelt, it turns out that taxi drivers are exempt from having to buckle up when ferrying passengers around.

If you or I were caught in the car without our seatbelts on we'd be facing a fine somewhere between £100 and £500, while in Northern Ireland there'd be three points added to your driving licence too.

Seatbelts are there for safety reasons, but interestingly the reason taxi drivers are exempt is also a matter of safety.

While seatbelts will go a long way to keeping you safe in the event of a car crash, they also put the cabbie at risk from passengers who are violent, drunk or violently drunk.

If a passenger wants to rob or attack the driver, having a belt which can be pulled around their neck is a real danger.

A less morbid reason behind the exemption from wearing seatbelts is that it allows cabbies to get in and out of the taxi quickly so they can help passengers with luggage or guide them properly.

"Oi mate, I hope you're not planning on wearing that seatbelt." Credit: Radharc Images / Alamy Stock Photo
"Oi mate, I hope you're not planning on wearing that seatbelt." Credit: Radharc Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Some cabbies do wear their seatbelts even though they don't have to, but according to Taxi Point those that don't wear one often say it's for their own safety.

The exemption from wearing seatbelts doesn't apply to the passengers of taxi drivers, so everyone else still has to buckle up for safety.

Another interesting thing to know about taxi drivers, at least for the ones in London, is that they have a tradition where a cabbie's first proper job behind the wheel is free.

It's a rite of passage once they've officially become a cabbie, so if you're ever getting into a cab and the driver tells you your ride is going to be free it's usually a sign that it's their first official day on the job.

While a free ride would be a nice surprise, normally you've got to pay up and many taxi drivers will now expect you to leave a tip, especially if you booked them through an app.

According to an etiquette expert, you should tip your driver about 15 to 20 percent of the cost of your fare, especially if your driver gave you a smooth ride that didn't leave you hanging on for dear life.

Topics: UK News, Cars

Joe Harker
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