Drivers say children are being driven by Uber and Lyft despite company rules banning it



by Keaton Thomas, KATU News

Uber and Lyft, two of the most widely used transport network companies, do not allow drivers to transport minors without an adult in the car, but local drivers say it's still happening, putting drivers at risk and passengers.

Chris, a local driver who did not want to share his last name, said that he was getting one or two requests from a person under 18 each night. Chris says that he cancels these rides when he learns that they are underage. He says it's a responsibility for drivers and a safety issue for kids.

"It comes back to the old case of foreign danger," he said. "When I was a kid, my parents told me that you would never ride in a car with someone you do not know."

Uber and Lyft have the same policy. Guests under 18 years old are not allowed to drive alone. Drivers may ask for identification if they believe that person is a minor. Motorists are not supposed to accompany minor children.

You can read the Uber Policy here and the Lyft Policy here.

Chris says some drivers drive minors. He says that they do not know the rules or do not care about them.

"The two most common rebuttals in this situation are:" I do this all the time or I go a short distance, "said Chris," None of these rebuttals concern me, no matter how many times you have broken the rule, no matter the distance, it's against the rule. "

In a statement to KATU News, a spokesman for Uber said: "Safety is our top priority Unaccompanied minors are not allowed on the platform." Drivers are supported to comply to this policy. "

Other drivers say that they deal with the same thing in Oregon and in other states.

A driver in Los Angeles, with a YouTube channel called Dave the Uber Slave, has posted several videos of minors trying to ask for a ride. In a video, he explains to minors that they should not use Uber without a person over 18 years old.

"Did you know that you're supposed to be 18 to use Uber and Lyft?", He said in the video.

One of the miners told the driver that he knew the rules, but that he always used them often. He said that if a driver denies him a ride, he will ask for another ride.

Chris created cards to hand out while driving. They explain the rules for both Lyft and Uber, or even links to each company's policy. He posted them on his website so that other drivers could download them for free.

Parents seem to have different opinions.

Marvin Talbert, a father, says that he would not let his kids ride alone in an Uber or a Lyft.

"I would be more concerned about the Uber pilots at that time, taking advantage of the minor children," he said.

Keith Sconiers, another father, said that he would let his child ride in an Uber or Lyft within reasonable limits. He said parents and children need to be aware of what they are doing.

"If he was under 18 but over 16, I would let him take an Uber or a Lyft," Sconiers said.

KATU News is registered with Uber and Lyft to find out if he had already asked for the age of a user. He has not asked us if we were over 18 years old. You must click on the Conditions to see the rules prohibiting minors from using the application without an adult.

Taxi companies do not have the same rules. Noah Ernst, head of operations at Radio Cab in Portland, said that in some situations he would accompany an unaccompanied minor.

Ernst said their drivers were undergoing more stringent background checks and that their cars were easily identifiable, which made them safer than an Uber or Lyft. He stated that they associated with some school districts to allow some children to go to and from school. Ernst said that these pilots are specially trained.


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