Uber driver cited $250 in Miami for not speaking English

Uber driver cited $250 in Miami for not speaking English
National News
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20 June, 2017

CBS4 News reached out to the county about its code regarding the English requirement for drivers of ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

He added that the law is not on Uber's website because drivers are required to follow all laws when they sign up to drive for Uber.

This ticket comes after Miami-Dade County issued a memorandum that states "transportation network" drivers must be "able to communicate in the English language", NBC reported.

Echevarria recorded the exchange on her cell phone as she was being fined.

The local ordinance mandating drivers should be able to communicate in English went into effect previous year.

It was unclear from the video or local reports why Echevarria and her passenger were initially pulled over. "I asked the (passenger sitting in her car) 'Can you please help translate what she is saying?' Then she asked why, if I was an Uber driver, I didn't speak English". "They simply have to be able to communicate in the language", said Miami-Dade County Director of Communications Michael Hernandez.

Correoso said that the memorandum rule for the county is "very vague and hard to enforce".

Last month, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law CS/HB 221, which overrides local laws like the English requirement across the state and also spells out insurance and background check requirements for ride-sharing companies.

The alleged violation left the driver, Carmen Hechevarría, complaining of unfair treatment in a county where Census figures show 73 percent of the population speaks a language other than English at home at least some of the time. He added that some fines for Uber drivers have been paid for in the past by the company, but did not clarify whether Echevarria's fine would be paid for as well.

"I'm not going to court".

In the end Echevarria, drove away with the fine and cursing. "The county can work with this driver and with Uber to address this situation".

Javi Correoso, an Uber spokesman, said the law doesn't specify drivers should speak the language but only communicate. Although Hernandez didn't say Hechavarria's fine will be forgiven, he said the mayor's office and the public transportation department have the power to waive citations.


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