A selection of stretch limos have been taken off the road after police found them to be in breach of safety laws. The investigation is a joint venture between East Devon District Council and Devon and Cornwall Constabulary Police Unit. The two organisations joined forces in a bid to clamp down on unsafe “novelty vehicles” after a noting a significant increase in the popularity of hiring luxury vehicles for school and college proms.
The first major investigation was launched to coincide with Exmouth Community Prom. On this occasion police seized only one stretch limo after doubt was cast on whether the driver’s license and insurance documents were valid for the vehicle he was driving.
There has been some opposition to the operation with the council being accused of being killjoys however a spokesperson for the council defended their actions claiming “Care was taken to ensure that the operation did not affect the youngsters attending the ball and those vehicles identified for further investigation were only pulled aside for inspection once they had dropped off their passengers and had moved away from the Exmouth Pavilion.”
A number of other organisations have been drafted in to help with the investigation including The Vehicle and Operators Service Agency (VOSA) The department of Work and Pensions, the council’s Fraud and benefits team and HM Revenue and Customs.
During the clamp down a total of 13 vehicles have been seized, 5 of which are stretch limos. Several drivers were presented with prohibition notices. One limo was deemed a considerable risk and was impounded as a result.
John Tippin the Licensing Manager is urging the public to be vigilant when booking a limo and “to check carefully that the vehicle and driver are properly authorised and insured.”