Reply to post: Re: Fuck Uber.

Uber BLOCKS COPS to stop stings

dan1980

Re: Fuck Uber.

@AC

Okay, that's a bit harsh but the main point is valid - there are laws and they are being broken.

I just don't get what the problem for enforcing this is. It might be the drivers themselves are the ones actively breaking the law but Uber is certainly the 'ringleader' so the question implied in the post (AC) is - why don't they just go direct to Uber?

Uber drivers (at least in Sydney) are trading without a license in a licensed industry. They are, legally, the same as an unlicensed plumber or electrician and thus the fines for operating in this fashion are comparable. In NSW, the fine is up to $120,000 - which I believe is about the same as you get if you are found doing unlicensed electrical work.

What needs to happen is that EVERY Uber driver caught needs to be taken through the full process of a court appearance, which will then allow a real fine, rather than $2,500 on-the-spot fines. Those come with the threat of legal action but if they are really serious then it should be a threat - get sprung and you get a court date.

Imagine a service that was working SPECIFICALLY to advertise unlicensed tradespeople and, not only that, accepted payments for their services, which they then took 20% of and forwarded the remaining 80% to the tradies. Further, they provided the tradies with a phone to help with the bookings.

Uber vets these drivers (however superficially), provides the tools (the app) for them to work, provides the underlying matching service, PAYS them, and keeps the records of it all. How are they not being targeted directly? It's absurd. If the law is valid and there for a purpose then fucking well enforce it.

Now, whether you think Uber is great or terrible or don't really care, the relevant authorities have made it clear - if you drive for Uber, you are operating unlicensed and breaking the law. It is staggering that Uber continues to facilitate this and yet suffers no action.

If Uber are actively blocking attempts to identify these illegally-operating drivers then the answer for the authorities is to make sure that when they are able to nab a driver, that driver is pursued to the full extent of the law. That means not just a $2000 fine but a court case and the likelihood of a $120,000 fine.

Most of these drivers are just ordinary people - they're not criminals (illegal and criminal are different things - take parking) and the overwhelming majority are undoubtedly good, decent folk looking to earn a bit of extra money. I doubt anyone really wants to see them crippled by a huge fine but they are illegally operating an unlicensed taxi service and they really should stop.

Personally, I would make sure that it was common knowledge that operating as an Uber driver is breaking the law and that anyone caught will be taken to court and prosecuted, resulting in fines up to $120,000 (or whatever it is in the state). I would have ads in the paper, on radio, on the television, in car magazines and on billboards. I would contact all the major insurers and discuss with them so that they could send communications to their members to let them know that if they are an Uber driver operating an unlicensed taxi, their insurance may not cover them for any accidents or damages.

I would ads up at petrol stations (many ads near the bowsers now) and in major garage chains like Ultra Tune and I would get people - police officers if possible - onto every news and current affairs show I could to put the message out.

In short, I would make it so that no one can plausibly claim any ignorance about the illegality of their actions. And, once that was out of the way - say a two-four week media blitz - it would be straight to a zero-tolerance policy. Get caught and you go to court.

And, all through, I would be looking at every possible avenue for holding Uber themselves accountable.

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