Windsor to Crack Down on Uber with Massive Sting Operation

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Authorities in Windsor, including bylaw officers and police, are gearing up for a large-scale sting operation on Uber drivers as complaints come in about the service. Mayor Drew Dilkens has said it will be a “co-ordinated enforcement initiative” that will catch Uber drivers in action, Windsor Star is reporting. Uber drivers could be charged with driving a cab without a taxi licence, for a $205 fine, or with no licence, taxi cab driver, which bears a $105 fine.

City Council is waiting on a $30,000 consultant report with recommendations of how to accommodate ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft in the city’s regulations. Dilkens said until then, those drivers are operating in contravention to the city’s public vehicles bylaw.

“If there’s no enforcement action in a short time, we are planning an information rally to draw attention to it,” said John Toth, vice-president of Unifor Local 195, which represents Vets Cab drivers.

Vets Cab has been sending out Uber Alerts to its drivers, asking them to record license plates and the car make of people they suspect are working for Uber. “We have to be regulated for the sake of public safety,” said Andom Gebrzgie, who has driven for Vets for 20 years.

Mayor Dilkens added that bylaw officers can’t lay charges alone, because they don’t have the right to ask a driver for identification. Only police can do that. Furthermore, Uber riders must register with a credit card to request a ride. “You need multiple credit cards in order to undertake enforcement because once you fine someone, that credit card gets flagged and probably can’t be used again,” Dilkens said.

An Uber Canada spokesperson did not respond to the questions about why the company has chosen to operate in Windsor before proper regulations have been developed in the city.

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  • Jay

    Great now even the government will be acting like those lunatic cab drivers desperately attacking uber drivers to defend an obsolete system.

  • MGSayah

    How about just revoking the Uber drivers’ permit alltogether. It makes sense since they’re caught driving something for which they do not have the appropriate training, insurance and permit for.
    It’s like saying, I have car permit, so I’ll drive a truck with a trailer in the back full of merchandise worth millions without the proper insurance nor training to do so. I don’t think this would be tolerated, so why should driving a taxi illegally be permitted?

  • Tim

    is that really the best use of police?

  • Mohammed Al Sarraf

    But in reality they are driving cars which they have license for
    Driving a cab doesnt have special license like driving truck or heavey machinery

  • MGSayah

    That’s what I thought at first, but they apparently are required to something like 100 hours of classes on roads safety, courtesy, as well as “para transit”. Plus they’re required to pay over 200$ a year for a police background check, pay for special taxi insurance and that’s not counting the endless fees they’re charged.
    I love the ease of use of Uber, but I’ve stopped supporting them because both the company and its drivers don’t pay taxes and the service is trying to play by their own rules all over the world.

  • ShaBi

    In reality, they are carrying passengers without the proper insurance coverage for the passengers, the driver, and third party, while the vehicle is being used for hire. That basically means the drivers have a breach of insurance contract, and the insurance companies have all the rights to decline any claims the driver might have while carrying any passengers. Until drivers are required to carry the right coverage, or the insurance companies changes their policies (very unlikely), this is a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode when someone gets involved in a serious accident.

    Don’t get me wrong, I hold nothing against Uber, I don’t and not planning to use the service, and could careless. I just have a problem with, like MGSayah said, the way they are basically giving everyone the middle finger, and trying to mess around in between the thin lines of certain laws.

  • definingsound

    That argument suffers from a straw man fallacy, you’re attacking a much different target than the actual topic of Uber.

    If my friend’s car is in the shop, and he gives me $5 to drive him there so that he may get his car, am I driving a taxi illegally?

  • Peter Pottinger

    When you do it intentionally and repeatedly then yes. Intent is part of how law is interpreted. Ignorance (aka playing dumb) is not a defense in the eyes of the law.

  • definingsound

    I believe that PP’s response perfectly sums up the grey area regarding taxi services.

    We can drive our own vehicles. We can carpool with our vehicles. We can exchange money for carpooling with our own vehicles. We can use an app to arrange a carpool. These things, on their own, are all fully legal.

    The argument is whether or not it’s legal to use an app to arrange a carpool if there is an exchange of money.

    It’s a grey area.

    I am somewhat of an environmental economist, which leads me to support rideshare services (better utilization of goods, fewer cars overall, demand/supply flexibility, yadda yadda yadda). My hope is that insurance companies will be able to underwrite policies that encompass ridesharing, since that is really the “elephant in the room”.

  • definingsound

    If nothing else they’re encouraging dialogue regarding an industry that has been in dire need of an overhaul/modernization for at least 10 years.

  • DoctorT

    Honestly, taxi drivers are among the most dangerous and reckless drivers that I’ve seen, and as far as I know, Uber requires regular police checks too..

  • “vice-president of Unifor Local 195, which represents Vets Cab drivers.”

    If there is a union involved, rest assured it means drivers doing a lousy job and charging way too much it.

    All this amounts to is the union getting the government to harass others for simply doing a much much better job than the taxi cab union members.

  • Exactly. They have been getting rich doing a lousy job… how DARE someone do much better for a much better price.

  • Not at all. They are licensed. Let them drive.

  • A clear example of a situation where the jackboot of the government is making laws where it has no business doing so.