ORLANDO, Fla. - Channel 9 found out police are cracking down even harder on ride-sharing drivers who are operating without a permit.
Officers have been ticketing Uber and Lyft drivers because the companies cannot legally operate in the city, but now they’re also going straight to the insurance companies of the drivers they ticket.
A letter obtained by Eyewitness News shows Orlando police informing an insurance company in September that its customer had been ticketed in a car that was operated as a vehicle for hire with the permit the city requires.
“To me, that seems hawkish. It’s very hawkish,” said Uber driver Noell, who did not want to give his last name.
The Police Department’s Vehicle for Hire Enforcement division would not comment on why the city decided to take such aggressive steps.
Clifford Wright is the president of the Greater Orlando Limousine Association, which just invested in 28 anti-ride-sharing billboards on Interstate 4 and State Road 408.
He said the city’s actions are more than justified.
“The city and the airport need to enforce it a little more,” Wright said.
Uber drivers said the city’s gone far enough.
“There must be somebody in their pockets pushing them to do these things, to take these guys off the road,” Noell said.
Wright said the law is clear: Once a driver picks up a paid fare, they’re then commercial and no longer eligible for private insurance.
He said Orlando police are just enforcing the rules everyone has to follow.