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"Uber" ordinance is not enforced in Lee County

Posted at 6:03 PM, Jan 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-06 10:39:10-05
Some Southwest Florida taxi cab companies want to know why law enforcement in Lee County isn't cracking down on un-registered Uber drivers. 
 
County commissioners voted last March to require permits and registration for Uber drivers. 
 
Cab drivers want to know if law enforcement is looking the other way and, if so, what's the county willing to do about it.
 
If you want to grab a ride in Lee County, the car you get into must have a big red sticker on the windshield.
But taxi cab owners are willing to bet your next Uber driver doesn't and has failed to pay the $4,500 price tag for county registration fees and insurance.
 
Chris Specht with Amber Taxi says, "They have an unfair advantage."
 
Last march, Lee County Commissioners passed the registration ordinance, But since then, not one Uber driver has been written up for failing to comply.
 
In fact, the Fort Myers Police Department says it's more focused on tracking down criminals, rather than improperly permitted Uber drivers.
 
Chief Dennis Eads with FMPD says, "Uber really hasn't risen to that violent crime level yet for us to spend resources and time on it."
 
And apparently Cape Coral PD hasn't busted any unlicensed Uber drivers either.
 
Meanwhile, Collier County saw no reason to have such an ordinance.
 
Richard Wesch is the attorney for the Lee County Commission, he explains the ordinance is necessary: "patron safety is our number one goal."
 
Nevertheless, Chairman for the Lee County Commission, Frank Mann, admits the ordinance is "unworkable."
He adds the state legislature needs to intervene. "Otherwise you're going to end up with 67 counties in Florida with 67 separate ordinances."