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‘Foolish’ Uber driver’s licence suspended after passenger holds ladder outside window

By Jordan Reynolds | Walsall | Transport | Published:

An Uber driver caught on camera allowing his passengers to hold a ladder out of the window of the car as they drove through Walsall has had his licence suspended.

The passengers were caught on camera carrying a ladder out of the travelling Uber's window. Photo: Mark Calver-Wilkes

A hearing of Walsall Council’s licensing sub committee was held in private on Wednesday where the driver – who has not been named – faced an allegation of having total disregard for public safety.

And members of the committee decided to take away the driver’s licence for three months, as a result of the incident which took place in September last year.

WATCH the video here:

After the hearing, committee chairman Councillor Suky Samra said the decision sent out a strong message that they will not tolerate “foolish” acts that put public safety at risk.

Footage of the bizarre incident captured the car being driven along Alumwell Road with passengers in the front and back seats holding on to the ladder out of the window.

The clip – uploaded to Facebook by Mark Calver-Wilkes – was captioned it ‘no roof, rack no problem’ and went viral around the world.

After it had emerged, Uber bosses said they would investigate the incident and stressed public safety was a top priority.

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Councillor Samra said: “The driver was in front of us facing a charge of having total disregard for public safety and the committee took the right decision to suspend his licence for three months.

“He was driving irresponsibly and we have sent a strong message out that such acts that put people’s safety at risk will not be tolerated.

“It was foolish on the driver’s part. Whether it was a private trip or he had paying passengers in the car, to have a ladder hanging out like that is unacceptable. What if they had dropped the ladder?

“The video went international. The person filming it said ‘only in Walsall’, what perception of the town does that give?

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“The driver was licensed by Walsall Council and it put the authority in a bad light. The committee took this very seriously, we are not weak on enforcement and offences such as this will be dealt with.”

The driver has 21 days to appeal the decision and can continue to drive during this time.

Following the hearing, council cabinet member, Councillor Garry Perry, said: ‘The safety of our residents is paramount.

"This incident has been carefully considered by the committee and deemed to be a very serious matter which requires the appropriate response.

"We would hope that this will deter drivers from this type of behaviour and understand the impact of transporting equipment in an unsafe manner can have on other drivers and the public."

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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