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Uber drivers complain they are forced to break the law to do their job

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Uber drivers complain they are forced to break the law to do their job
By Timna Jacks
11 January 2019 —



Uber driver Jayesh* tapped his phone just once when a police car pulled him over.

A new trip had just popped up on the driver's Uber app on his phone, which was mounted to his car.

So Jayesh made sure he stopped at the traffic lights in Greensborough in Melbourne's north-east, before tapping his screen to accept the trip.

But the fact that his car was stationary, or that he was working as an Uber driver didn't sway the police officer who handed him a ticket: a $484 fine and the loss of four demerit points.

Jayesh is among tens of thousands of Uber drivers across the country who are frequently having to weigh up whether they should break the law to do their job.

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Uber driver *Jayesh was fined for using his Uber app while driving.Credit:Luis Enrique Ascui

Drivers can legally use a phone while they are driving if it's in a holder, but only for phone calls, music or GPS.

Using a phone under any other circumstance is illegal even if the car is stationary (waiting at red traffic lights). The car's engine must be switched off.

This poses a problem for Uber drivers who are being offered new trips on the app while they are behind the wheel, and in many cases completing another trip.

The company argues it is the drivers' responsibility to accept trips legally, but drivers have 15 seconds at most to accept a trip before losing the job.


Stopping a car within 15 seconds would be highly dangerous if the driver was travelling fast or on a freeway where there is no safe stopping area.

In many cases, drivers are forced to touch their phones when passengers add to or change their stops during their journey.

Jayesh accepts that he has broken the law.

But he wants to know why Uber was given the green light to operate in Australia if tens of thousands of its drivers frequently broke the law to do their job.

He is among other Melbourne drivers who are asking similar questions on online forums.


"In simple terms, Uber wants me to use the mobile phone while driving," Jayesh said.

"If I don't take these trips, I'll miss out on work and my earnings will drop. I won't make as much money.

"Either the whole app needs to change, or there must be a provision for people who are driving ride-share vehicles to allow them to touch their mobile screen if they want to operate these apps legally."

An Uber spokeswoman said drivers were independent contractors and were therefore not required to accept trips.

The accessibility that comes with the phone app is a key feature of the ride-share company's success.


“We know that it is not uncommon for the average driver - not just those who use Uber’s platform - to use technology to help navigate their route," she said.

“We continue to work hard to ensure that driver distractions are kept to an absolute minimum. We remain focused on exploring ways to reduce driver distraction with the overall goal of sharing our learnings with all drivers on our roads.”

Taxi drivers also have to tap a screen when a new job appears on the despatch system attached to the car's dashboard.

But this system is exempted from the road rules, so police do not issue penalty notices to drivers accepting trips while driving.

13CABS' general manager David Samuel said taxi drivers also won't receive alerts about new jobs while they are completing a trip, which lowers the chance of them touching the screen while driving.


He said the fact that taxi drivers did not have to use their mobile phones to do their work meant that taxi services were safer.

"Our system is superior in terms of safety, and in very simple terms, our device fits within the law.

"There is no law as far as I'm aware that says that you can't accept the job, but the laws on mobile phones are very clear."

Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria's chief executive Aaron de Rozario acknowledged that in the rideshare industry, "technology and the different ways people use technology has progressed faster than regulation".

He said it was up to the transport companies to ensure that drivers were using their apps or other technology safely.


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A Victoria Police spokesman said police would not necessarily be able to discern if a motorist was a ride-share driver, "but in any case, these drivers would be treated the same as anyone else detected using a mobile phone and issued an infringement notice".

Across Australia, there are 3.8 million regular Uber riders and 62,000 active driver-partners.

Jayesh's name has been changed



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ECOMCON

Well-Known Member
Pretty simple don't go near the phone if you are stationary at lights.

———

Uber driver Jayesh* tapped his phone just once when a police car pulled him over.

A new trip had just popped up on the driver's Uber app on his phone, which was mounted to his car.

So Jayesh made sure he stopped at the traffic lights in Greensborough in Melbourne's north-east, before tapping his screen to accept the trip.

But the fact that his car was stationary, or that he was working as an Uber driver didn't sway the police officer who handed him a ticket: a $484 fine and the loss of four demerit points.

Jayesh is among tens of thousands of Uber drivers across the country who are frequently having to weigh up whether they should break the law to do their job.

https://amp.theage.com.au/national/victoria/uber-drivers-complain-they-are-forced-to-break-the-law-to-do-their-job-20190110-p50qm8.html
Idea!!!
Don’t mount the phone high up.
Mount it low where no one can view u tapping it Nor ur Johnson
 

DA08

Well-Known Member
:p:p

"Back to perth please" - UXDriver
Lol ... I'm still in the same country - in the aussie side of the forum . . :p

No need to do that, they can order Ubertaxi in their Uber app.



Not sure why its still called the Sydney Morning herald when the article relates to Melbourne Uber drivers. Probably because they have just about sacked all their journalists and now have to share articles with The Age.
Uber taxi? Is that a separate app?
 

trexgq

New Member
I think this is controversial. Most of the SatNav (TomTom) and even in-car SatNav will need driver to interact and a lot of time may require them to be driving (not stopping). this should not just apply to Uber app.
 

RoboRider

Well-Known Member
I think this is controversial. Most of the SatNav (TomTom) and even in-car SatNav will need driver to interact and a lot of time may require them to be driving (not stopping). this should not just apply to Uber app.
Go read the rules and you may understand. SatNav devices come under a different rule (299) to that for phones (300).
 

zanboor

Well-Known Member
If the cops want to find an excuse to give you a ticket they will find it mate!

Back in England a few years ago, this young lady had a sip of water while stationary at red traffic lights. the cops saw her and issued her a ticket saying she was not in full control of her car! The news escalated in the media and was going on and on for months!

Now we can’t touch this and the other while driving! I remember I used to smoke while driving, no cops said anything then!
Dear cops, can I bl00dy breath while I drive?!
 

D-River

Well-Known Member
If the cops want to find an excuse to give you a ticket they will find it mate!

Back in England a few years ago, this young lady had a sip of water while stationary at red traffic lights. the cops saw her and issued her a ticket saying she was not in full control of her car! The news escalated in the media and was going on and on for months!

Now we can’t touch this and the other while driving! I remember I used to smoke while driving, no cops said anything then!
Dear cops, can I bl00dy breath while I drive?!
You used to smoke in your Rideshare car??
 

Thing

Well-Known Member
COP OUT. An Uber spokeswoman said drivers were independent contractors and were therefore not required to accept trips.
There are so many drivers that uber can simply ignore a minority complaining & thus they insult their partners by referring to you as Independent Contractors when they don't give a toss OR partners when they want your support...
 

D-River

Well-Known Member
No mate, only in my private car when I was a smoker. Having said that, I have seen a few ants at the AP puffing a siggy while driving :eek:
So have I!! It fkn’ Disgusting.

I had one rider ask if he could smoke in the car.
I said not a chance.
He said he asked because the had a driver that let him smoke and had a smoke with him.

That should be illegal or against Uber’s rules.

I’m a smoker, currently.... working on quitting, but would never ever smoke in the car.

Even as a smoker when a pax hops in my car after having a smoke, it smells horrible. It must smell worse for a non smoker.

Tell me it’s against rideshare law/rules.... please
 

Duderx

Well-Known Member
So have I!! It fkn’ Disgusting.

I had one rider ask if he could smoke in the car.
I said not a chance.
He said he asked because the had a driver that let him smoke and had a smoke with him.

That should be illegal or against Uber’s rules.

I’m a smoker, currently.... working on quitting, but would never ever smoke in the car.

Even as a smoker when a pax hops in my car after having a smoke, it smells horrible. It must smell worse for a non smoker.

Tell me it’s against rideshare law/rules.... please
Your car is your workplace, therefore just tell them it's an OH&S issue. No smoking in the workplace.
 

D-River

Well-Known Member
Your car is your workplace, therefore just tell them it's an OH&S issue. No smoking in the workplace.
Nah, I don’t need to justify why. I just tell them no.

What I meant was the drivers that allow it, is it against any rideshare (Uber mainly, as we know the others don’t have policies, lol) policies??
 

zanboor

Well-Known Member
Nah, I don’t need to justify why. I just tell them no.

What I meant was the drivers that allow it, is it against any rideshare (Uber mainly, as we know the others don’t have policies, lol) policies??
I’m pretty sure I read it somewhere that no smoking while rideshareing. Will have to find out where
 

I_Like_Spam

Well-Known Member
https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/uber-drivers-complain-they-are-forced-to-break-the-law-to-do-their-job-20190110-p50qm8.html

And child in taxi without carseat is OK too. Should we all just paint our car yellow and put cab stickers on? :biggrin:

"Taxi drivers also have to tap a screen when a new job appears on the despatch system attached to the car's dashboard.

But this system is exempted from the road rules, so police do not issue penalty notices to drivers accepting trips while driving"
Taxis are subject to regulation by the state and federal regulators as to what they must do, who they must pick up, the fares they can charge, etc. Uber are just guys and gals in their private automobiles doing their own thing on their Side Hustle.

Uber came up with a business plan where their vehicles weren't taxis and weren't regulated, so they just have to obey the same laws as every other driver on the road. Not treated any differently that anyone else going out on a Sunday drive.

Uber doesn't want to subject itself to this kind of regulation and expense as it would cut into the profits.
 

D-River

Well-Known Member
Taxis are subject to regulation by the state and federal regulators as to what they must do, who they must pick up, the fares they can charge, etc. Uber are just guys and gals in their private automobiles doing their own thing on their Side Hustle.

Uber came up with a business plan where their vehicles weren't taxis and weren't regulated, so they just have to obey the same laws as every other driver on the road. Not treated any differently that anyone else going out on a Sunday drive.

Uber doesn't want to subject itself to this kind of regulation and expense as it would cut into the profits.
You make me feel so British, driving an automobile!

If I hopped in an Uber car that smelt like someone had been smoking in it, I would rate them 1* and write to Uber to let them know.

Just because it’s thier car, doesn’t mean they can uphold a decent standard that most of us would expect when paying to ride with them.

And that’s coming form a current but soon to be ex smoker.

Just like you wouldn’t expect to get in and the driver have rubbish everywhere.
 
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