A passenger claims his life was "endangered" when his taxi driver appeared to watch a football match while he was behind the wheel.The driver, from Nottingham private hire firm DG Cars, has now been suspended by his employer and the matter is currently under investigation.Jezz Heald, 57, had booked a taxi to take him from Gedling, Nottinghamshire, back home to Mapperley at around 7:30pm last Thursday [March 10].But he was surprised to see that when he got in the cab the driver appeared to be watching a football match on the monitor above the dashboard, which usually displays a satnav or radio station.Mr Heald claims the match stayed on throughout the 10-minute journey, with the volume on loud.Mr Heald said: "He didn't switch it off when he started driving, he was going down the road and watching the football match."It is definitely illegal under the Highway Code. If he had been parked up waiting for a ride and watching it I could understand, fair enough."But watching football when you're driving, instantly I thought 'this isn't right'."
Mr Heald said he felt he needed to gather evidence of what was happening and so he started recording from the back seat.He didn't feel comfortable enough to confront the driver so he then contacted DG Cars to inform the company about his journey.Mr Heald said: "I told them that their driver had just endangered my life. To watch TV while driving, I was just in disbelief."DG Cars said its staff are trained to not do anything to distract them while they're driving.A spokesperson for the company said: "At DG Cars we work hard to provide a high standard of service to our customers and customer safety is paramount."All drivers attend training before they start with us that includes safety first. No eating, using mobile phones, or anything which might distract them from driving."We pride ourselves on being the only private hire company in the East Midlands with a training department that trains every driver before they start working with us."The driver in question has been suspended pending a full investigation. It would be unfair for us to comment further whilst this is under investigation."We would have welcomed a phone call at the time of the incident from the customer in order that we rectify the situation at the time."