Drivers and cars to be subjected to tougher tests; police to crack down too
31 August 2007

Got a party or event coming up? Hiring a stretched limousine for the occasion? Then local police and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency would urge you to exercise care. After a spate of crashes, gaffes and other trouble, the police is stepping up Operation Dakota, a fancy name for what is essentially a plan to clean up the act of the myriad unlicensed drivers of stretched limousines in the UK.The operation began in Manchester at the end of last year, but is now spreading accross the national police network. It's necessary because, right now, all you need to set up a stretched limousine business is a driving licence. The DVLA is planning new laws which will mandate limo drivers to take a special test, to register with the local council, and to have their limousine subjected to a rigourous test every year, in the same way that taxi drivers are regulated. However, until those rules are passed, it's falling to the police to clean up the UK's limousines.Most stretch limos are imported from America, and often don’t conform to European safety regulations. Local councils have proposed licences which would entail a criminal record check, local knowledge test and a driver medical, as well as rigorous bi-annual MOTs. So if you're in the stretched limo business and that doesn't sound too appealing, now might be time to think about a change of career. Or of location.Funnily enough though, it doesn't look like the life of a limo driver is much easier on the other side of the pond, particularly in San Francisco. The Ford Excursion-based stretch limo pictured got beached at the junction of Connecticut and 18th streets in the Potrero Hill area of the city. Perhaps running a limo business in the city of forty hills isn’t the best idea.

Henry Mann

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9 January 2015
It is a very nice move taken by DVLA. If anyone is thinking about doing a limo business in a particular area then they must fulfill the criteria.

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