ILLEGAL taxi drivers who 'pick up' clients on Facebook are being targeted as part of a borough-wide clampdown.

Hackney carriage and private hire drivers have to be licensed to operate in Barnsley and they've joined forces with the council to clampdown on pirate taxis who are operating under no regulations.

Coun Roy Miller said: “Some young people don’t realise that advertising taxiing on sites such as Facebook is illegal. People also need to be aware and ensure they check vehicles for signage and badges.”

Enforcement officers are working to gather evidence from popular Barnsley facebook sites searching for people responding to the many "anyone taxiing tonight?" posts.

They say even accepting a lift from an online friend invalidates their insurance if you have in someway paid for that life.

The campaign came about after Barnsley Hackney Carriage Association approached the council with the idea of delivering presentations about illegal taxis to secondary schools and colleges in the borough.

Operation ‘Stay Safe’ was developed and presentations have been given to pupils in years ten and 11 at about half the borough’s schools. It is hoped the rest will receive the presentation after Christmas.