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Private Hire Vehicles (Carriage of Guide Dogs etc.) Act 2002

Section 1: Carrying of guide dogs, hearing dogs and other assistance dogs.

6.Subsection (1) inserts a new section 37A into the 1995 Act as follows.

6.1

Subsections (1) and (3) of the new section 37A create two offences. The operator, or driver, of a PHV, will commit an offence if he refuses to accept a booking for or on behalf of a disabled person, or if he refuses to carry a disabled person, because that disabled person will be accompanied by a guide dog, hearing dog, or other assistance dog.

6.2

Subsection (2) of the new section 37A makes it an offence for an operator to make an additional charge for carrying such a dog when accompanying a disabled person.

6.3

Subsection (4) provides that a person guilty of an offence under any of subsections (1) to (3) may be fined. The amount of the fine must be no more than level 3 on the standard scale - currently £1,000.

6.4

Subsections (5), (6), (7) and (8) of the new section 37A provide for a PHV licensing authority to issue a certificate of exemption to a PHV driver from the requirements under subsection (3) on appropriate medical grounds, and set out to whom the certificate may be issued, how long it may last and how it should be exhibited on the vehicle.

7.Subsection (2) inserts a new paragraph 21A into Schedule 8 to the 1995 Act which modifies the Act in its application to Northern Ireland. The effect is to apply the new section 37A to Northern Ireland with the necessary modifications to the definitions of “licensing authority”, “driver”, “operator” and “private hire vehicle”, as required for consistency within Northern Ireland law.

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