Uber defence lawyer says Edmonton enforcement campaign failing in court

Edmonton’s vehicle-for-hire staff spent $1.5 million on administration and enforcement last year — issuing 278 tickets to Uber, TappCar and other drivers — but Uber’s defence lawyer says not one of the tickets he’s seen stood up in court.

“There’s never been a conviction of an Uber driver (in Edmonton),” said lawyer Paul Moreau, who estimates he’s had or still has files for roughly 75 drivers since the new bylaw came into effect in March 2016.

Since some of those drivers have up to four tickets, he believes a large share of those 278 tickets landed on his desk.

Edmonton was the first Canadian jurisdiction to create regulations around app-based ride-sharing as an alternative to taxis. But its experience with Uber suggests it has struggled with enforcement.

The issue is heading back to City Hall Monday, with city officials aiming to increase fines and strengthen the bylaw’s language to help with enforcement.

Overturning city tickets

Moreau has been working on this issue for years.

Before the new bylaw regulating Uber, Moreau handled roughly 70 tickets, mostly from an undercover operation where a former police officer took rides and taped his exchange with the driver. Those tickets were either overturned in court, withdrawn after the city let its undercover operator go, or withdrawn entirely once the new bylaw came into effect.

After the new bylaw took effect, Moreau said he handled several dozen tickets for operating without a commercial licence plate given out by Edmonton police and city bylaw officers to Uber drivers. Those were withdrawn after the court looked at the provincial legislation and said it doesn’t require a commercial licence plate for what the city calls private transportation providers.

The third batch of tickets came when bylaw officers pulled over Uber drivers and couldn’t find their registration in the city system, said Moreau, providing estimates for …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal

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