An UberPop driver prosecuted for illegally practicing the activity of taxi operator was acquitted Thursday in Paris, in the first ruling by a criminal court on the issue. The court believes that „the transportation of a person for payment is not sufficient to characterize the operator of an offense” and freed the UberPOP-driver.
The court found that „the paid transportation of a person is not sufficient to characterize the operator as trading without a taxi permit and plying for hire on the road.” The judge said that „the Constitutional Council clearly stressed that the taxi business, which is exercised in a particular regulated framework, can be likened to any individual transport activity, but it is to ply for hire on the roads which makes taxis different from any other transport activity, as clearly stated by the Thevenoud Act of October 1, 2014.”
The lawyers of the accused welcomed a decision „motivated as a decision of principle.“ In the specific case of their client, the Criminal Court has also held that the accused „had been booked through the application UberPOP“. The CEO of Uber France, Thibaud Simphal, welcomed the ruling that „comforts us greatly“ and is grounds for „great satisfaction.“ „Given the merits of the case, given the legal arguments that have been advanced and given the content of the decision (…) there are all the signals for a precedent,“ he added. There will, however, be an appeal by the prosecution.
The ruling Thursday is the first decision of a criminal court. In May, 150 similar cases were still waiting for judgment. Some have been dealt with in simplified procedures with fines of several hundred euros. wf
Photo: Wim Faber