Uber Ride-sharing Outlawed; NSW Now Fining Drivers

Written by Computer Daily News     18/06/2014 | 14:24 | Category: CONTENT & DOWNLOADS

New South Wales has joined Victoria in cracking down on the ride-sharing component of the Uber smartphone app, doling out $2500 fines to motorists who charge for delivering people to their destination. But Uber itself appears to getting off scot-free.

Uber Ride-sharing Outlawed; NSW Now Fining DriversSo far the NSW Roads and Maritime Services organisation has issued five drivers with the $2500 fines for "operating a public passenger service without the appropriate authorisation, accreditation and licence." And it has been warning many others.

The NSW move follows similar action by the Victorian Government in early May. It issued $1700 fines to more than 30 drivers, raising around $50,000 taxi services commissioner Graeme Samuel said.

In NSW, Roads and Maritime Services has confirmed imposition of the fines. In a letter to other motorists who have been detected offering the Uber rise-share service, it says it has received information indicating that "you obtain requests for travel through the low cost Uber X option on the Uber Australia Pty Ltd phone application."

It adds: "The Uber X services are provided by unauthorised drivers in unaccredited and unlicensed vehicles," says Roads and Maritime Services views matters of this nature "very seriously" and quotes the Passenger Transport Act as authorising fines of up to $121,000.

While the drivers are being hit, or at least warned, no action has been taken against Uber. 

"Investigations have determined that - while Uber is not breaching the Passenger Transport Act 1990 by offering the service - motorists transporting passengers for a fare are," a spokeswoman told Fairfax Media.