Safety screens for taxis

Drivers, operators and owners of taxis or private hire vehicles, may choose to fit a safety screen to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). We do not currently have a policy for the installation of safety screens in private hire vehicle or hackney carriages. But installing one is considered a modification to the vehicle and a change of use condition applies.

If you install a safety screen in your private hire vehicle you must notify us immediately. You need to tell us:

  • what modifications you have made to your vehicle
  • what the seating arrangements are

You cannot use the vehicle for carrying fare paying passengers until we approve the modifications.

We will not accept liability for situations where a screen causes injury or death to a passenger or driver.

Screen standards

The screen or barrier should:

  • Be fitted in a way that does not affect the structural integrity of the vehicle, or interfere with any manufacturer fitted safety equipment
  • Not interfere with or compromise any operating or safety features in the vehicle (including airbags, handbrake, gearstick) or the Vehicle Type Approval
  • Not be made of materials that will increase the fire risk in the vehicle
  • Be transparent so that the driver and passengers can see each other. It must not interfere with the safe use of the vehicle and must remain clear of scratches, clouding and stickers which would reduce the driver or passengers’ visibility
  • The screen must be made of a material which allows both the passenger and driver to see and hear one another clearly
  • The screen must be made of a material which does not cause suffocation or other injury
  • Only create a partition between the two front seats and the rear cabin area
  • Not obstruct the passenger leg room in any way, or require the passenger to adjust the screen to accommodate their legs or baggage
  • Be adequately and safely secured
  • Not interfere with the safe access and egress of the driver or passengers or become easily detached during normal use
  • Be adequately disinfected between bookings and at the start and end of each working day

Owner, driver and operator requirements

You must:

  • Inform your insurer that you are fitting a screen and make sure your insurance is not invalidated as a result
  • Make sure that you are adequately insured if you fit a screen
  • Provide evidence that the relevant insurance for the device is in place by emailing the Taxi Licensing team
  • Fit or install screens according to the manufacturers specifications and recommendations
  • Make sure the screen is removed before a vehicle compliance test

This is a temporary measure and we reserve the right to ask for screens to be removed at any time. If we have concerns about the use of a screen in a licensed vehicle we may ask you to remove it. We will write to you explaining our reasons.

The type of screen fitted (full front or back partition) could make the front passenger seat in the vehicle unusable. If this is the case, it will reduce the number of passengers you are permitted to carry in the vehicle.

Sanitising and face coverings

You have a responsibility to take all possible precautions to keep yourself and your vehicle(s) safe and sanitised to help stop the spread of the virus. You need to frequently clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched regularly, such as door handles, seat belts and buckles, using appropriate cleaning products. You also need to clean other obvious hard surfaces touched by a passenger, including areas that may have been infected following a passenger coughing or sneezing.

Face coverings are recommended in enclosed spaces and when it is difficult to socially distance.

For more information visit the government’s website.