Uber faces ban as a last resort

The Herald reports:

Ridesharing service Uber could be banned if it fails to comply with safety laws, Transport Minister Simon Bridges says.

While this was not the Government’s preferred option, passenger safety was paramount, Bridges said today.

Speaking to reporters at Parliament, Bridges said Uber was mocking the law by not properly checking its drivers’ criminal and medical histories.

“Clearly it’s an important matter. Clearly it’s one where we want the law enforced and not mocked, as it frankly is being by some at the moment.”

I’m a fan of Uber, and have supported them in wanting to reduce regulatory barriers to them. And in fact the Government’s recent review gave them 80% of what they wanted. It was very friendly towards allowing innovation.

Uber decided to move from trying to change the law to ignoring the law. This is regrettable. I agree with them that the driver checks should be cheaper and quicker. Absolutely. But that is not the same as saying you should just ignore the law.

They are doing damage to their brand. Their behaviour is even polarising their drivers.

For the first year of using Uber every driver I had loved Uber and raved about the company. In the last few months a growing number of drivers say they are appalled with Uber (even though they drive with it). Their drivers have gone from being ambassadors to merely contractors.

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