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Australia Government Transportation

UberX Runs Into Trouble In Australia With NSW Suspending Vehicle Registration 166

Harlequin80 writes: RMS (Roads & Maritime Service), the New South Wales' governing body for transport, has begun suspending the vehicle registration of UberX drivers. After failing to deter drivers through prosecutions, with Uber covering fines and legal costs of its drivers, RMS has begun suspending the registration of the vehicles as it forces the vehicle off the road for three months. Under the NSW Passenger Transport Act, paid ride sharing is illegal, and this will see UberX drivers losing the use of their vehicle for both Uber and personal use.
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UberX Runs Into Trouble In Australia With NSW Suspending Vehicle Registration

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    It is an affront to the liberty of Uber if they aren't allowed to operate as they please, where they please, how they please!

    • Re:How dare they! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 28, 2015 @07:44AM (#50611867)

      Hilarious.... but sadly might be true shortly.

      The whole point of the new Trans Pacific Trade (and its Euro equivalent) agreement is Corporate Sovereignty, the right of corporations to sue countries for violating their rights to ply their trades however they see fit.

      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131024/11560725004/what-does-isds-mean-corporate-sovereignty-pure-simple.shtml

      If they win the lawsuit, the country will be required to change the law to make whatever they blocked legal, regardless of the democracy or elected government. These cases will be heard by a tribunal of ex- Corporate laws (I kid you not, corporate lawyers will sit in private session and decide if the country needs to change its laws to make it legal).

      http://citizen.typepad.com/eyesontrade/2013/10/investors-are-increasingly-challenging-states-constitutional-court-decisions-in-investor-state-tribu.html

      So Uber might one day be able to sue countries for daring to have long standing rules about Taxis that interfere with Ubers advantage. Ubers advantage is not be bound by the laws of taxis!

      • +1000 insightful. That's literally what that trade agreement is about.

      • So Uber might one day be able to sue countries for daring to have long standing rules about Taxis that interfere with Ubers advantageis!

        You say this like it is a bad thing. Most taxi regulation is about keeping out competition.

        That the service is so popular shows The People like it.

        • Perhaps if you talked to the people that get shortchanged by driving it, you would see the problems that go beyond taxis.

          The Focus Group Minority might like it, but nobody else.

          • How are the users of a service ("Focus Group Minority") a "minority"? There are far more customers than providers. I think there needs to be balance, but let's not totally dismiss those being serviced.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Well if you think that and don't like it, get elected and change the laws.

          There's no reason a lawsuit and tribunal should ever be able to override the laws of a land. The government decides what is law, and the people decide who is government. And corporations have to convince the people its in their interests to change the laws.

          See how that work?

          People > Government > Corporations

          *Not*

          Corporation > Government > People.

          • by jbengt ( 874751 )

            There's no reason a lawsuit and tribunal should ever be able to override the laws of a land. The government decides what is law, and the people decide who is government.

            You're missing the point.
            In the USA, at least, if the government signs and ratifies a treaty, possibly like the *Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement mentioned in the GGP, that treaty would trump any laws of a government in the USA. According to the Constitution, it would even trump the Constitution.

            *IANAL, so I am not sure if the TPPA woul

            • ... that treaty would trump any laws of a government in the USA. According to the Constitution, it would even trump the Constitution.

              A common misconception. Treaties don't "trump" the U.S. Constitution, they form the highest law of the land alongside the U.S. Constitution and U.S. law:

              This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding.

              Treaties do take precedence over state constitutions and laws. The only thing that would trump the U.S. Constitution, however, would be an amendment or constitutional convention. The federal government cannot bypass its own constitutional limits by entering into treaties any more than it can grant itself unconstitutional powers by passing laws. Only the sta

        • by drsmithy ( 35869 )

          You say this like it is a bad thing.

          That's because companies being able to sue Governments (ie: the People) for preventing them from doing whatever they want in the name of making money is indeed A Very Bad Thing.

          Most taxi regulation is about keeping out competition.

          No, very little taxi regulation is about keeping out competition - basically the artificial limits on how many plates are issued and requirement to use a specific dispatch service. Most of it is about protecting passengers, drivers and the pub

        • You say this like it is a bad thing. Most taxi regulation is about keeping out competition.

          That the service is so popular shows The People like it.

          You said this like a short-sighted person. How about you apply the same concept to other situations besides Uber? How about a company you are working for found ways to exploit employees (including you), and the laws used to prohibit those work around but were revoked because of the court ruling? Then which side would you be?

        • In many places, people who drive commercially are required to have a commercial driver's license and insurance to a higher standard than the general public. These requirements are usually fairly easy to meet, and hence aren't anti-competitive. There are reasons for limiting the number of taxis on the road, but the restriction is pretty much anti-competitive.

          Uber doesn't like any form of regulation, anti-competitive or not. By flouting all regulations, they're trying to drive out all competition.

      • ISDS doesn't do what you're claiming it does.

        The point of ISDS is to handle the case where a company invests in a country and the country then changes its laws such that the investment is invalidated. This has a habit of occurring in some less well run parts of the world as part of e.g. attempting to advantage home grown companies, or appropriating their assets.

        ISDS cannot force a country to change its laws. It's a voluntary mechanism by which countries agree to pay compensation to the investors that they j

      • Thank you. This needs to be screamed from the rooftops. I am pleased to tell you folks that both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have announced their opposition to this monstrosity. Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush are both in the tank for the TPP, as is President Obama. I just wish that this issue could get the attention it needs.
    • Yes, god forbid drivers voluntarily sign up to be Uber drivers (and set their own hours) so that people can voluntarily ride in Uber vehicles. It's funny how when there's an article about the DMCA, /. is almost entirely against it, but then when there's idiotic and/or outdated taxi laws that hurt competition and worsen the quality and price of the product provided to the consumer, people are suddenly against the company that has the balls to stand up to it.
  • by ITRambo ( 1467509 ) on Monday September 28, 2015 @08:00AM (#50611935)
    Are corporations people in NSW? If so, like in the US, this violates their rights.
    • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <richardprice AT gmail DOT com> on Monday September 28, 2015 @08:38AM (#50612113)

      It violates what rights? Even in the US you don't have the right to earn money through illegal means. And you also don't have the right to always operate a vehicle on the public highways. So what rights are being violated?

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Are corporations people in NSW? If so, like in the US, this violates their rights.

      To answer your question, no, in Australia corporations do not have the same rights as people.

      A corporation doesn't break laws in Australia, individuals do and they are charged as individuals (if a company tries to hide behind a corporate identity, the board and CEO can be charged). This is why the Uber X drivers had their licenses suspended. A corporation can pay a fine, but they can't give them back their licenses.

  • by Bearhouse ( 1034238 ) on Monday September 28, 2015 @08:05AM (#50611949)

    They need to bring out GNUberX...

  • Last I checked, it was a landlocked country, so why do they have a "Maritime" service????

    :

    :

    Yes, it is intended to poke fun at people who confuse Austria with Australia.

    • .... and I, for one, would also not want something operating in my country if it was Not Safe for Work.
      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        When I read your post, the first one, I did not see the bottom part. I stared at it. I stared at it some more. I spent probably a minute of IRL time (maybe a little less) staring at it and wondering if someone was that confused. I think I saw the rest of your post as your signature so I didn't read it. So, yes. Someone was that confused. That someone was me. >:(

        Yes, yes I do have a strange affinity for emoticons today.

        Either way, I'm still pissed about what they did to Helen Keller. I read her book in sc

    • Last I checked, it was a landlocked country, so why do they have a "Maritime" service????

      I would suggest you check again. Not only is Australia not landlocked, it in fact doesn't have any land borders. The coast is the border. Perhaps you are thinking of Austria.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Punishing the drivers doesn't help.

    Issue arrest warrants for the leadership of UberX if they continue to tempt people to break the law. Simple as that.

    • by sd4f ( 1891894 )
      I don't think they're in Australia...
    • I agree, they (UBER) should be charged with racketeering charges (organized crime). They are deliberately conspiring to commit a crime (in Australia).
  • I eagerly clicked on the story thinking that between "UberX" and "NSW" it would be a whole lot more fun.

  • There's nothing stopping them from delivering their services under the safe, legally approved platform. The government is not denying them the ability to offer a ride - the individual is insisting on an illegal, inconsistent, and unsafe choice.

    Those drivers would be able to operate within the bounds of a taxi or livery service, but that would break the Uber business model.

    • Can you just enter their DMV, take some tests, survey their car, prove that they have some insurance (and no criminal record) and start driving their cab? Because if they can, you're right. If they can't (because of cab quotas), then you are totally wrong.
      • That's still too much for Uber/UberX. Their business model is derived solely from insufficiently insured cars and misclassified workers.

        To services like Uber, a minimal inspection package is still too much. They prefer a special deal that makes them the taxi company.

        • You are partially right - they certainly do keep the price down by dodging regulations to their best ability. However, the real draw of Uber is the nicer cars and prompt service. Local monopoly providers got too complacent and couldn't be bothered to upgrade their dispatching system, and individual car owners take better care of their vehicles than fleet drivers / renters.

          • Is there some way they can require legally adequate licensing and insurance and still provide nicer cars and prompt service? If that's what they're attracting customers with, raising the fares a bit to stay legal might work well.

            • To be fair, they are technically in compliance with the law in most/many places. They push the law to the limit, though, and then adjust or lobby when ruled against. They are disruptive, but I don't think that automatically makes them "bad". Change bothers a lot of people - especially anyone content with the current system. Re-balancing the new system is going to have it's ups and downs, but I don't think the shrinking of the middle man is necessarily a bad thing if the law can catch up.

    • Nope. Neither Uber nor any Uber driver has been convicted of violating any law in NSW. The government is suspending licenses without any legal process because when they tried to take legal action the government's cases collapsed. What is legal has nothing to do with what the government is doing.

      • It certainly sounds like being an Uber driver is illegal. If the authorities are dealing with that by yanking registration and not pursuing the matter in court, what's the problem? I assume that, if running an unlicensed cab weren't illegal, the drivers could use the court system to get their cars back along with compensation.

      • They've taken action against those that have gone against the NSW laws.

        Perfectly within their purview to penalize improperly licensed drivers.

  • Trying to figure out what NSfW acts had to be taking place in those taxis that would cause them to lose their license

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