Edinburgh MSP Colin Keir said some drivers will “chance their luck” and pose as a private hire car to pick up passengers.
“Getting into an unlicensed vehicle is essentially the same as taking a lift from a stranger, so I am urging people to have fun but stay safe,” he said.
“Private hires should always be booked in advance and never picked up off the street. When the taxi arrives, check the driver knows the name of the booking and is not an illegal driver trying their luck.”
Some companies in Edinburgh have a policy where they will prioritise a pick-up for a woman if she is on her own, and Mr Keir said this policy should be adopted by all firms.
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Mr Keir, who previously sat on Edinburgh Council’s Regulatory Committee, said: “I have had encouraging conversations with some of the taxi firms in Edinburgh and hope that all of them here in the capital and across Scotland sign up to the cabwise plan.
“At this time of year there is always an increase in the number of people using taxis at the end of an evening out and it’s important that everyone gets home safely too.
“Many people are unaware that private hire cars are not taxis and so all bookings should be made to reputable companies, so that the details of the call can be logged for auditing and safety reasons.
“It is excellent to hear that some of Edinburgh’s taxi companies operate a single-woman policy and I have written to other firms and call on all firms across Scotland to adopt the same sensible strategy.”
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