Uber Regulations

Woman says she was attacked, groped by Uber driver

WSB - Atlanta

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — 

A Henry County woman says an Uber driver attacked her.

The woman, who asked not to be identified, filed a police report saying Jose Marrero Martinez picked her up from a restaurant and during the ride he tried to grope her.

She said she pushed Martinez away and that's when he punched her, in front of her 2-year-old son.

A McDonough was patrolling a shopping plaza on that Thursday around 9 p.m. when he saw the victim running toward him yelling "police."

The officer said the victim was already on the phone with 911, reporting the assault.

Police arrested Martinez at his McDonough home, charging him with battery and cruelty to children.

The victim, was going to tell her story on camera, but when the Martinez bonded out of jail, the victim decided against an interview out of fear.

Uber released a statement about the incident saying, "We were appalled to learn of this terrible and inexcusable incident - and have been in contact with the rider - to offer our full support, as she recovers from this ordeal. This driver was immediately removed from the platform, and we have been working directly with law enforcement to assist in their investigation."

The representative said Martinez had been an Uber driver for about four months before the incident.

Martinez's wife said he's being wrongly accused.

- See more at: http://www.whio.com/news/news/crime-law/woman-says-she-was-attacked-groped-uber-driver/nqZgB/#sthash.8QQVnyTG.dpuf

Imposter Uber driver picks up Portland woman

on October 28, 2015 at 4:54 PM,

A Portland woman who was picked up by an imposter Uber driver says her case should serve as a warning to other women who use the ride-hailing service.

Courtney Lage was leaving a friend's birthday party just after midnight on Oct. 11 at a bar near Southeast Grand Avenue. She requested a ride through the Uber app and watched on her phone as the app showed the car approach.

As it appeared to get close, Lage said, a man pulled up and said "Uber?" 

Lage got in, but she told The Oregonian/Oregon Live she started getting nervous when, as he started driving away, the driver asked for her address. Uber drivers typically use the app's GPS navigation function, and it's programmed with the rider's address. The driver said his was broken, she said.

The driver was also missing an Uber placard usually displayed on the car.

"That's when I realized something's wrong here," Lage said.

When her actual Uber driver called her cellphone asking where she was, Lage demanded to be let out of the car. The man pulled over to the side of the Morrison Bridge and let her out before speeding off, she said.

"He didn't touch me, and he didn't threaten me," she said. "But I think the only reason you pretend to be an Uber is to harm someone."

The real Uber driver stayed on the phone with Lage and picked her up on the bridge.

She called police after she got home, but wasn't able to give officers a license plate number or thorough description of the driver. 

A passing driver might have been able to guess Lage was waiting for an Uber because she was waiting and watching her cell phone, she said. Police officers who interviewed Lage also asked if someone might have overheard her telling friends she was going to take Uber home, she said.

It's not clear a crime occurred, said Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson, because Lage got in the car voluntarily and wasn't harmed or threatened. Still, he said, it's a reminder to be cautious.

Imposter Uber drivers have been reported elsewhere. In Tallahassee, Florida, police arrested a 35-year-old man who allegedly claimed to be an Uber driver before exposing himself to a college student and assaulting her, and police at Texas Christian University have warned students to be on the lookout for a man claiming to be an Uber driver who made "indecent comments" and while driving a student and tried to hug her as she demanded to be let out of the car.

Uber said the company builds safeguards into its app to protect riders from imposters. Riders are shown a picture of the car that will pick them up, its license plate number, a picture of the driver and the driver's first name.

Uber spokeswoman Kayla Whaling said drivers are trained to address riders by their first name when picking them up to verify they're affiliated with Uber. And, she said, riders don't have to wait outside in view of passing drivers.

"When you request a ride, you're notified when it arrives," Whaling said. "You don't have to wait on a street corner."

Lage told police the imposter vehicle was a blue Toyota RAV4 with older windows. The real driver drove a similarly colored Mazda, Lage said, and he was wearing sunglasses in his profile photo on Uber, obscuring his face. 

Lage said she should have paid more attention to those safety features. But in talking to friends about the experience, she said, she found many have similarly hopped into Uber cars without double-checking.

"I'm the very first to admit they do have some security measures I didn't pay attention to," she said. "If more women know this is a possibility, they won't make the same mistakes I did."

-- Elliot Njus

enjus@oregonian.com

 

Chicago Police Warn of Robbers posing as Uber Drivers

WGN TV- September 22, 2015

CHICAGO -- Chicago police have issued a warning to Uber users after a series of crimes in which the suspects pose as drivers then rob the victims.

On September 13th near the 1500 block of North Wells in Old Town, a person who had ordered a ride through their Uber app was approached. Chicago police say the men were posing as Uber drivers. When their victim got to the alleged Uber car, that person was robbed.

Days later, on North State Street, police believe the same two men struck again on September 19th. No one was hurt but the victims were robbed of their belongings, including their debit card.

Police say the suspects were driving a black, 4-door, Chevy Impala.

Uber reminds its customers of a few safety tips:

Before getting in a car, confirm with your driver their name, photo, and license plate. Ask them to tell you their name, not the other way around.

Share trip details with family and friends, including your arrival time and route.

Do not accept a ride from a car with more than one driver. That violates company policy.

Send them away if anything seems out of the ordinary or wrong, then contact customer service any time of the day.

 

Uber is the new Napster

PETER ZAHAKOS, SPECIAL TO THE TORONTO SUN

FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2015 07:41 PM EDT |

Remember Napster? That revolutionary file sharing service that changed the way people listened, bought and stored music. It changed everything in a multibillion-dollar industry reserved for elites who thought they ran the show.

Its business model mirrored Robin Hood. Take something someone else created, make it available for less, and make a killing along the way. It was a sharing model driven by exploiting copyright laws. Metallica and other bands eventually shut them down. Napster simply took what it wanted until lawmakers said enough.

Sound familiar? Uber is the new Napster, exploiting loopholes in current laws to overtake the market. It’s described by some as a game changer. But Uber hasn’t reinvented the wheel. It is simply stealing the tires and putting them on shiny unlicensed, uninsured cars for hire.

At a recent committee hearing in Toronto, dozens of UberX drivers sang the praises of their multibillion-dollar foreign employer. But most had no clue they were breaking the law by admitting they didn’t have commercial insurance. Many admitted they aren’t even collecting HST.

You could literally see their expression change from pride to fear after realizing they may face a huge tax bill at year’s end. Or worse, may not be covered if anything were to happen to their car or passenger.

These Uber champions revealed a lot. Laws are being broken. And Toronto is doing nothing to stop it.

In an attempt to level the playing field, the city came up with a framework. But the solution ties the hands of the taxi industry and gives Uber a free ride, creating separate rules for ridesharing companies.

The taxi industry rejects the creation of a new category for rideshares. It would mean different rules, different insurance guidelines, licensing and no set pricing. How is that fair?

Uber must not receive special treatment while existing companies continue to play by the rules.

The cab industry isn’t perfect. When our drivers err, we are held to account. We work with police. We suffer the wrath of our errors under the watchful eye of the media.

What we don’t accept is a company operating in secrecy — not divulging how drivers are insured or what background checks reveal.

When dealing with mass transportation, the city has an obligation to ensure public safety. Just recently police reported a female passenger was sexually assaulted by someone alleged to be an UberX driver. While the courts will ultimately decide with that case, one wonders if regulations requiring the installation of cameras in Uber vehicles — something cabs are mandated to have — would deter assaults and other crimes.

Last month, an UberX driver was dropped from his insurance company and Uber after an accident left his car totalled and him with serious injuries. He has lost everything and is now launching legal action against Uber.

Uber is making a killing — a $40-billion foreign company that has been allowed to exploit rules. It doesn’t invest in our communities and its money is kept out of our country. Does that benefit the local economy?

We also shoulder a huge responsibility of making sure people are safe. That there is a system in place to move passengers that has checks and balances. That has a guarantee of protection if and when things go wrong.

Like Napster, Uber has shocked the world into a new reality. The sharing economy will continue to evolve. Today it’s the cab industry. Tomorrow TTC busses could find themselves Ubered. You paying attention, unions? City officials can’t put this paste back into the tube, but they can and must move quickly to create rules that allow us to compete fairly.

— Zahakos is CEO of Co-op Cabs

 

"This article is from Canada. The same problems have happened in the U.S. and around the world. If an UberX driver won't call their insurance company to see if they're covered-that should be the first red flag!" -A#1 Cab Dispatch