Unite the union has launched a winter public safety campaign – Know What You’re Getting Into – in the country’s two largest cities to coincide with the beginning of the festive season.

Hundreds of taxis in Glasgow and Edinburgh will carry posters inside vehicles to enforce a key message of public safety. The campaign involves highlighting safety through social media and leafletting throughout the cities. Unite has been campaigning against the significant rise of ‘pirate drivers’ who are breaching cab licensing restrictions and invalidating car insurance.

‘Know what you’re getting into’ will remind the public of the practical steps they must take when taking a taxi. When on the street a person must ‘hail’ and only then enter into those licensed cabs, and if pre-booking a taxi cab or private hire to only use licensed vehicles and operators. The public if in any doubt should also ask to see a driver’s taxi license identification number. Unite has also repeated its call for extra investment for stronger enforcement measures including officers during the winter season to tackle the scourge of illegal plying for hire (pirate cabs).

Pat Rafferty, Unite Scottish Secretary, said: “Unite’s Glasgow and Edinburgh taxi branch members are sending a vital and important safety message to all who use taxi cabs and private hire vehicles during the festivities. The message is simple: stay safe. We are urging all users of taxis to ensure that you pre-book your taxi cab or private hire vehicle, and if you hail on the street it must only be a licensed cab not a private hire car. If you have not pre-booked or you are not using a licensed cab you are just getting into a stranger’s car.”

Cllr Lezley Marion Cameron supported the taxi drivers