Taxi Council of Queensland Inc.
Benjamin Wash, CEO

8 December 2014

Media Release

Taxi Council call for QLD Govt to step up illegal taxi enforcement after alleged Uber rape

Taxi Council Queensland (TCQ) has called on the Queensland Government to ramp up enforcement on illegal taxi drivers using rideshare apps, after another alleged rape of a girl in India on Friday by an Uber driver.

TCQ chief executive officer Benjamin Wash said the industry’s frustration was growing when taxi drivers see illegal operators picking up passengers “right in front of them”.

“We are asking a very legitimate question that the Government needs to answer: Why do these services continue to operate when the Government has ordered them to stop?”

Fearing that drivers would take the law into their own hands if police and the Government don’t act quickly, Mr Wash said no company should be allowed to “buy” exemption from the law, especially when that exemption allows them to profit from jeopardising public safety.

“Uber is clearly so cashed up that it considers it cheaper to pay the fines than meet the regulations, however what message does that send to all other Queenslanders who abide by the law?”

He said the taxi industry, which meets Government safety regulations at considerable costs, has a right to demand that anyone operating taxi services should meet those same standards.

“Taxis have security cameras and are GPS monitored continually. Ridesharing cars are private cars with no security measures. If the driver turns off his phone no one will know where you are.”

He said the industry’s concern has nothing to do with being anti-competition or anti-technology.

“That’s a lie propagated by illegal rideshare apps like Uber to hide the fact that they put profits before the protection of customers.

“We welcome competition and most taxi companies have apps as good as – if not better than – illegal operators, however competition cannot be at the expense of customer safety.

“Uber can afford to meet regulations – they simply refuse to do so. Until they do, we expect the Government to stop them from operating.”