Hit-and-run driver wins landmark taxi licence appeal

18 February 2016

Mehrdad Kaivanpor, who was convicted of careless driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident last year after knocking a woman off her bicycle and driving off, has won his appeal against the revocation of his taxi licence.

His barrister, David Lewis-Hall said, “the council are interfering with your right to earn a living,” and Justice Wilkie ruled that it was for the council to prove that Kaivanpor was unsuitable to hold a licence rather than for him to prove that he was. Lewis-Hall went so far as to say, “this is an important point from a…human rights angle”.

This precedent raises significant questions about the nature of a licence, which one might normally understand to be an earned entitlement based on having demonstrated suitability. The notion of earning a living by driving being “a human right” is clearly aligned with the idea that driving itself is “a human right” rather than a privilege earned by proof of ability to safely control a fundamentally dangerous vehicle and awarded on trust of responsibility for it: both points on which Kaivanpor has, as attested by his convictions, failed.

More at the Brighton Argus.

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