RACQ praises the ACT’s new ride-sharing regulations

INGE HANSEN

Source: flickr.com

The RACQ announced their support for the regulation of ride-sharing services like Uber by the ACT Government. Source: flickr.com

The RACQ has said other state governments including Queensland, should follow the ACT’s lead and introduce new regulations to make ride-sharing legal.

Earlier this week the ACT Government announced changes to regulation to allow ride-sharing services like Uber to operate legally from October 30 2015.

RACQ Executive Manager Public Policy, Michael Roth said research conducted by the RACQ revealed 80 percent of Queensland adults agree they should have the option to use either taxis or a ride-share service and believe the government should change regulations to make ride-sharing legal.

“A lot of people are voting with their wallets, they’re using Uber so what the government’s done so far hasn’t worked,” Mr Roth said.

“We’re looking at the government to bring in new regulations so that ride-sharing happens legally and safely.”

flickr.com

Cheaper fares have made ride-sharing services the more attractive alternative to taxis. Source: flickr.com

The ACT will be the first jurisdiction in Australia to regulate ride-sharing services as other states and territories continue to issue Uber drivers with fines and registration suspensions.

With the new legislation in Canberra, ride-sharing services are required to meet certain conditions.

Such conditions include the requirement for drivers to have car inspections, driver assessments, driver medicals and must have a zero blood alcohol level and be drug-free.

In a blog post by Uber, the company said they are thrilled with the ACT Government’s announcement.

“The ACT Government has not only answered the demands from thousands of Canberrans for economic opportunities and more reliable and affordable transport, but, through their decision, they have also recognised the rights of all Australians to choose how they move around their cities,” they said.

Yellow Cabs Queensland Manager, Bill Parker opposes the legalisation of Uber and said ride-sharing services put passengers at a high safety risk and may threaten existence of the taxi industry.

“I think that the government, any government, has a responsibility to ensure that the passengers that go in any public transport vehicle are safe at all times,” he said.

“Currently that isn’t the case when people travel in an Uber vehicle.”

The ACT's changed regulations will see Uber drivers expected to meet certain conditions to ensure safety for themselves and passengers. Source: wikimedia.org

The ACT’s changed regulations will see Uber drivers expected to meet certain conditions to ensure safety for themselves and passengers. Source: wikimedia.org

Mr Parker said he would only jump on board with the idea if Uber was regulated and drivers were required to comply with the same legislation as the taxi industry.

RACQ’s Mr Roth said it is the significantly cheaper prices which makes travelling through Uber an attractive option.

“Even though most people are satisfied with taxis, they’re not necessarily loyal to the taxi service so if another ride-sharing business can provide a competitive offer then people will use that,” he said.

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