Taxi drivers demand harsher Uber regulation

Posted at 11:53 AM, Dec 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-24 11:53:04-05

FORT MYERS, FLa. -- Taxi cab owner Chris Specht has harsh feelings when it comes to Collier Counties traffic laws.

"Collier County now has pretty much has held up a sign saying open for business murderers, rapist, drug dealers. They've totally deregulated the transportation industry there."

That's not the case in Lee County, where the taxicab vehicle for hire ordinance prohibits unlicensed vehicles for hire, provides minimum insurance requirements and requires display of stickers. You can only get the sticker once you get the car insured and inspected.

Specht says the problem is Uber and other unlicensed taxis are getting away without background checks or being insured. "The lack of regulation is hurting your paycheck right ? Oh absolutely. They have an unfair advantage."

An advantage Specht feels comes from having a phone app and not complying with county law.

Fox 4 asked Fort Myers Police Interim Chief Dennis Eads if Uber is heavily regulated.  "No. We have enough going on. We have resources in place to try and prevent violent crime and catch people committing violent crime. Uber really hasn't risen to the violent crime level yet for us to spend a lot of resources and time on."

With the law in place but hardly being enforced and FMPD not receiving any complaints on it, I asked Chief Eads, is there any point in having this law if its something that's not going to be heavily policed ? "Well that's something that's going to have to be looked into by city and county governments."