Seventeen Uber drivers have been issued warnings, and another ordered off the road after they failed to comply with revved-up NZTA rules.
Less than two weeks ago, Transport Minister Simon Bridges hit back against Uber’s decision its New Zealand drivers no longer needed a passenger (P) endorsement, which was issued after checks on drivers’ medical, criminal, behavioural and driving histories.
Bridges said this was illegal, and drivers would require P Endorsements to stay on the roads.
Since then, 17 official warnings have been issued and one driver ordered off the road for not holding a Passenger Services License.
I’m a huge fan of the Uber service. I’ve also been very supportive of their desire to have regulatory settings that support innovation in the passenger transport market. The changes announced last month represented some great wins for Uber (actually more for passengers like myself).
But Uber’s decision to unilaterally declare they are a ride sharing service, and hence their drivers don’t need a P endorsement is an unwise one. I don’t think they’d win a court case on it, and they are putting their new drivers at risk of fines.
Their strategy should be to continue to push for law changes, but not to ignore the law. Their current strategy risks them losing a lot of the goodwill they have built up.