Would-be taxi drivers wanting to work in the area covered by Chichester District Council are now being assessed by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) before being given a licence to drive a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle.
More than 160 councils throughout Britain have already agreed to take testing on board for hackney carriage and private hire drivers.
Central operations change manager Phil Coop said: “We are delighted Chichester District Council (CDC) has decided to introduce this assessment as driving a taxi carries a great deal of responsibility.”
Specially-trained driving examiners assess the ability of applicants to drive safely and professionally in a ‘real’ environment.
The test includes manoeuvres designed specifically with the operational taxi driver in mind and is set at a higher standard than the practical test for learner drivers.
The assessment ensures the competence of the applicant to drive passengers in safety and comfort. Those who are successful receive a certificate of competence.
Taxi assessments became available at test centres at Chichester, Portsmouth, Gosport and Worthing on April 1.
Taxi drivers are the only people to carry passengers for money who do not have to take statutory vocational tests.
Laurence Foord, principle licensing officer, said: “CDC is fully committed to improving road safety at all levels and the opportunity to participate in the DSA Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver Assessment Scheme was seen as an excellent way to ensure that drivers licensed by this council are of a consistently high standard”.