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Comment Re:Update (Score 2) 56

Yeah, but /. already had a visually consistent website. They now broke it, in the most amateur way ever (well, again really). I've got people's signatures scrawled on top of the "Reply to This etc." links. I've list the sidebar on the front page.

Comment Re:I wonder why... (Score 1) 193

A taxi driver is five times a likely to get in an accident in the same month.

Well, that is not exactly true. A taxi driver also accrues five times the road experience, lowering his risk profile considerably. But again, if there is indeed a risk associated with driving for long stretches (and there is), it makes no sense to only regulate professional drivers.

I can jump in my car now and drive from here to Berlin (about 5.5 hour drive), with nobody asking me any questions. That hardly seems fair. And if i take on a couple of passengers, still nobody would ask me any questions. But if I took on the passengers via Uber, the situation changes. Why exactly is that?

Comment Re:I wonder why... (Score 1) 193

You're correct of course. The point being that there are plenty of professional drivers out there, who are not regulated in the same manner. And even more amateur drivers - carpooling for instance.

I think we're kidding ourselves monumentally if we think the regulations governing taxis and the like are in place for our protection. They're just as much in effect to protect the businesses of people driving other people around for a living.

I'm all for road safety. But arguments about liability are weak. If anything, those kinds of laws should apply to anyone taking on passengers. There is no reason that only taxis should have to abide by special rules. If you can't drive while tired or intoxicated, it doesn't matter if you're a professional or not, you shouldn't be on the road.

Comment Re:I wonder why... (Score 1) 193

Raping your daughter, or mine, is still illegal. You can't make it more illegal. You can't guarantee that it won't happen in any case, background check or not.

As we see with regular drivers licenses all over the world, you can drive drunk while having a license - the two are not connected unless you're drunk while taking your drivers test. As with the rape example, drunk driving is illegal - you can't make it more illegal or guarantee that it won't happen with professional drivers. Indeed, it does happen.

Not to say we should not try. But services like Uber are no different than me taking a couple of colleagues with me to work every day. Carpooling is commonplace, but because we can now do it via an app, it is somehow worse? It is a contrived argument.

Comment Re:I wonder why... (Score 1) 193

That is a good argument. But again, why should that not apply to anyone driving people around, be it commuting or your kids football team? My main point is that anything you can make apply to taxi drivers, should also apply to regular drivers - we share the same roads after all. All the other arguments in the thread deal with current law, but much of that law is to create barriers to entry, not to ensure your safety on the road. That is my gripe.

Comment Re:I wonder why... (Score 1) 193

1. The medical exam is part of the regular drivers license here. The ability to inspect a vehicle for defects likewise. If there are special skills needed, apart from being able to cruise above the speed limit and running yellow/red lights, I don't know of them - and if they're really required for the job, why are they not part of the regular drivers license? That is a double standard. There is no difference in being run over by a taxi driver or a 18 year old with a brand new license.

2. That is not the reality though. They may know the city, or know their GPS device enough to fake it. So can anyone else. Requiring a special license for essentially being able to power on a GPS and plot a course seems rather over the top. Speaking the language? Not so much.

For instance, a guy doing on site tech support spends just as many hours on the road as a taxi driver (or relatively close). Sales people also. Neither of those professions require specialized drivers licenses, health checks or any other kind of verification beyond what their profession requires.

Comment Re:I wonder why... (Score 1) 193

One has to wonder though. What is so special about being a taxi driver, that there has to be special laws governing them? And if there is a need for very special laws around taxi drivers, why are regular drivers exempt? Where I live, the "special drivers license" for a taxi driver amounts to showing that you can figure out how to use an old school paper map to find a location reasonably well. Then you can get your special license to be a taxi driver.

There is nothing else to it. The "laws" that Uber are telling the municipality to "go fuck" are nothing but artificial, government sanctioned barriers to entry into the market, because being able and allowed to pilot a vehicle is not barrier enough.

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