Queensland’s Taxi Council has accused sections of the media of “blindly following the spin” disseminated by illegal ride-hailing company uberX, and ignoring the legitimate safety concerns of experts.
Taxi Council Queensland (TCQ) chief executive officer Benjamin Wash was referring to an article that appeared in Fairfax media this week warning Australian businesses that allowing staff to use uberX instead of taxis risked heavy penalties under work safety laws.
The article stated that “workplace lawyers are voicing major concerns about employers that permit staff use of the controversial service because it could breach their duty of care.”
Law firm Holding Redlich said uberX “should be banned by employers because the service was unlicensed and unregulated and there were no in-car surveillance cameras, used in taxis, to deter assaults.”
Mr Wash said that TCQ had been voicing these concerns for a long while and that much was “common sense”, however some parts of the media were “spellbound” by the illegal operator and had become “a dangerous mouthpiece for misinformation by putting lives in danger”.
“The media should be placing Uber X and their claims under the same scrutiny and fact-checking guidelines by which they treat others including the taxi industry, but many do not,” he said.
“The media are complicit in an illegal operation that tells the public to trust them on issues of safety, insurance, driver checks, vehicle maintenance and other issues – yet never provides any evidence to show their service is safe.
“Put simply, Uber has been given a free ride by some of the media which has resulted in the public believing the service is both lawful and safe – when it is neither.
“We know uberX is not safe. We know it’s not properly insured and we know that every time someone gets into an uberX car, both the driver and passenger are at risk, yet it takes a legal firm to finally provide the motivation for some honest articles.”
Original article - http://www.smh.com.au/national/uberx-companies-face-penalties-for-use-of-rideshare-service-20150412-1mjb6r.html