Coquitlam Mounties, city bylaw officers and B.C. passenger safety officials are working to get illegal ride-hailing drivers off the road, in a blitz to make city roads safer.
Const. Deanna Law, spokesperson for Coquitlam RCMP, said drivers seeking to cash in on B.C.’s new ride-hailing industry without doing the necessary inspections and paperwork are the target of the spring campaign.
As many as three illegal ride-hailing drivers were nabbed in Coquitlam on March 3 during the sting and were issued more than $1,600 in fines.
“Some are prohibited drivers and some haven’t completed their background checks,” said Law, adding that passengers using these illegal services are putting themselves at risk — especially since the vehicles aren’t inspected or didn’t pass inspection.
The recent enforcement resulted in each driver being charged with several offences including:
• operating without a permit under the Passenger Transportation Act, which resulted in a $1,150 violation
• operating without an appropriate class license under the Motor Vehicle Act, which resulted in a $276 fine
• failing to display a valid safety certificate under Motor Vehicle Act Regulations, which cost the driver $357 in penalties
According to Coquitlam RCMP, the ride shares were not licensed correctly while some had no licenses or were prohibited. In other cases, some drivers also did not have their background checks completed, and some vehicles had not been inspected and do not qualify for legitimate ride shares.
“Some of these drivers are not following regulations and procedures,” said Law, noting that people should be careful of what apps they use and how they get to their destination.
In Burnaby, a similar campaign to get illegal ride hailing services off the road resulted in 17 drivers being caught, thousands in fines were handed out and one driver had their car towed.
At least two legal ride-hailing services, Uber and Lyft, were introduced in Coquitlam in 2020.