[Dispatch] Orlando Police this
is–[inaudible]. You’re being recorded. How can I help you? [Young Woman] Hi. Um. I just
wanted to report that I was in an Uber earlier with a man
and he physically tried to touch me and um I was in the car and he tried
putting his hands down my shirt. He went off the grid and [Dispatch] And what kind of
driver was he? [Young Woman] An Uber driver- the ride-share company. Was just kidnapped by an Uber
driver in DC, held against my will, and involved in a high
speed chase across state lines with police.
Crazy. Uber, you need to be
responsible. The driver driving my teenagers
was intoxicated. The driver attempted to drive
the wrong way down a one- way street and was also clearly
stoned. No missing the smell. Just because you need a ride
doesn’t mean you have to be abused or taken advantage of. People who are riding in these
cars should know that they are vulnerable. I can’t see people being allowed
to offer commercial trips, without having a truly police
vetted background check. We support innovation. We sup-
port innovation in transportation, but we do feel
that in order for innovation to be supported, there needs
to be clear rules about who’s providing insurance and when. Ultimately this is a issue of
making sure that passengers
are safe. The whole country, the
passengers included and the drivers are being kept in the
dark about what really is going on with Uber and how it’s really
gonna affect them. Uber is not a tech company. Uber
is a transportation company with a fancy tech app. What they’ve said is that this
is a “new industry” therefore they get to be treated special. Well, this is nothing more than
a new method of dispatch. This thing look like a taxicab, operates like a taxicab, charges like a taxicab. In, perhaps, less elegant terms, looks like a duck, quacks like
a duck, is a duck. And it falls under our rules and regulations
for commercial ground transportation carriers. Under the law if you accept
money to transport somebody, you have a greater duty than a
regular driver on the street. Uber says we don’t transport
anybody. We don’t owe a duty and certainly not the highest
duty of care. They went behind the committee’s
back, behind the backs of the people in this meeting, and went
to other people in local government and state government
and asked them to put pressure on us to not amend our code
to include the definitions that would define them as a
transportation company. this whole business is just a
tragedy waiting to happen but they wanna be exempt because
they’re special. They are technology so they
shouldn’t have to follow the rules. The debate has been: who is
liable insurance-wise for the accident. The driver
or Uber? Uber says, we have nothing to
do with them. We’re just an app We do not hire these drivers.
They’re independent contractors. we do not control them.
So basically what people don’t know is that if you get hurt by
one of these cars, Uber’s gonna go, “Not me! It’s got nothing to
do with me.” Your private automobile
insurance coverage will say, “Look this was a commercial
trip, we’re not covering it.” Lift, Uber, will say, “Look, the
app was not on. We’re not covering it.” The standard private passenger
auto policy specifically excludes coverage for any kind
of injury or damage that arises out of an accident while a
driver’s holding themselves out for hire. Either drivers aren’t
aware of that ‘cause they haven’t read their policy or
they’re aware of that and they’re just hoping for the
best. Pizza delivery drivers, they
have insurance on the pizza car. From the minute
it’s turned on to the minute it gets turned off. Everybody
else who’s driving vehicles on the road whether they’re
full or empty carries commercial insurance 24-7.
What they have done is externalized all the cost of
their operation. So what they do is they just rake cash. If this were Exxon, people
would be up in arms, but it’s a cute little phone
app so people are not looking at it in the same way
as corporate responsibility. If you were to ask the average
personal auto policy holder if they thought that they should
pay a little bit more on their auto insurance to subsidize the
activities of a ride-share driver or these companies, most
of them would say no. And that’s why it’s important
that the people that are gonna engage in this activity and
these companies have insurance that specifically applies to
these activities for the entire time that they’re making
themselves available for them. You will have injuries. You will
have claims on personal policies, you’ll have denials on
those policies. Uber has a pittance of a policy out there
in Period 1 that says it’ll cover $50,000. So who’s going
to pay? You and me. And I hope to God it’s not you
and me paying by the loss of a child. There was a young girl that was
killed in an automotive accident
concerning an UberX driver. Uber has made a ruling for
itself that it’s not liable. We should not allow a private
corporation to make a legal judgement. UberX, Lift are definitely not
ride sharing companies. The lack of understanding in
the legislature made it a prime opportunity for Uber and Lyft
to engage in a massive disinformation campaign on a
scale that I’ve never seen before. They came in with the standard
lingo, which was, “your code is outdated. It’s
ineffective. It, you know, makes no sense. They did not
present us with any information concerning their company. They
had not read our code. They were not familiar with the laws of
the state of Alabama. And we actually took great offense
because we just wrote our code- compeletly rewrote it-
from scratch in 2011. UberX and Lift attempt to be
called Ride Sharing companies, but it■s simply smoke and
mirrors, to help sell their way into communities by saying
that they’re something different than a taxicab or
sedan or a limousine so that they can avoid any of the
regulations. recognizing the extreme risk
associated with non- professional drivers driving
around on the street looking for rides, Uber set up a shell
company. So it basically has put a layer of protection to
secure its $1.7 billion in assets from people who
get hurt by UberX. The only difference between
them and a regular taxi cab service is the fact that they
use unvetted drivers. They’re not police checked. They’re
using personal automobiles, They’re using insurance which
may be 1/5th the cost of commercial liability insurance,
and they’re operating without really any supervision at all
because the only thing that controls them is flipping on
and off an app. There’s no local management in most
cases. They think that we’re trying to
regulate them under the taxi format, under the taxi world.
That’s not necessarily true. However, we can’t have a
regulatory vacuum either where Uber doesn’t have
any sort of regulations over itself and it doesn’t-
we don’t ensure at least a minimum code of
corporate compliance. Regulation in the taxi industry
especially is very important. It’s an industry which is a
necessity public service. Regulation is necessary so that
whether you’re rich or poor, whether you live in a dense
neighborhood or a very sparse neighborhood, you can have
access in a reasonable amount of time to this on-demand
service at a guaranteed rate. When Uber came to the city of
Birmingham they actually pretty much told us they wanted no
part of the transportation code They felt that their drivers are
small business, they should be allowed to operate however
they want with no regulatory oversight, government
oversight whatsoever. That also includes no business
license and no paying tax on their income revenue. And we
found that to be quite disturbing. Anything that
required them to be in compliance with any law in
general, they were totally against. In the past, when we had
open entry deregulated, service has not improved.
Service deteriorated. Fares went up. And literally
we were back regulating within a period of years. I’ve
never seen anything like UberX and Lift coming into the
marketplace and completely ignoring all the rules. We want Uber drivers and Lyft
drivers to get good background checks. We want them to have
minimum insurance requirements. We want them to make sure that
they go through the process of making sure their cars are safe.
We want government to keep an eye on the individuals and make
sure that people are safe when they get into the back of a car
because it’s not just me. It’s not just you. It’s someone’s son
or someone’s daughter. The mentality of Uber is
whatever we do, whoever we hurt, whatever we say is all
legitimized by us becoming profitable, taking over the
transportation industry, and our own greed.