Video: Watch Uber driver illegally pick up a taxi fare in York

A still from the video shows the car ready to illegally pick up a fare in York. Photograph: Mike Preditor / YouTube
30 Mar 2017 @ 7.32 pm
| News

This is the moment an Uber driver was caught in the act of illegally picking up a taxi fare.

It was a decision that cost him more than £500 in fines and court costs.

City of York Council officers investigated complaints from fellow members of the taxi trade that Mohammed Nawaz, aged 25 of Cark Road, Keighley, had been seen plying for hire in the early hours of October 9 2016 on George Hudson Street.

Video evidence showed him accept a fare that was not pre-booked and which contravenes the terms of his licence.

Two passengers ask Nawaz where he’s from. When he replies Keighley, they ask: “Can you tell me why you’re in York then, working as a Hackney cab? Do you have a licence to pick up in York?”

He says no. The passengers then leave the car, saying: “Thank you. We’ve got your details. We’ll be passing them on…”

Uber closed his account

The driver on his phone
Nawaz was driving for private hire operator Uber at the time. The council said Uber fully cooperated with the investigation.

Nawaz pleaded guilty to the offence at York Magistrates’ Court. He was fined £79, given a court surcharge of £30 and full prosecution costs of £427 – a total of £546.

Uber confirmed that as a result of this incident it permanently closed Nawaz’s account with them on November 1, 2016.

The conviction will also be reported to Rossendale Borough Council, the driver’s licensing authority.

Cllr Sam Lisle, executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods, said:

While we are lobbying for greater clarity over aspects of private hire legislation, it is very clear that the law does not permit drivers licensed for private hire to pick up passengers on the street who haven’t pre-booked a journey.

Thanks to the co-operation of the operator, members of the trade and our taxi enforcement team, this verdict sends a clear message to the trade to abide by the law.