Arlington Police Will Enforce Virginia's Uber/Lyft Ban

June 17, 2014 - 11:53 AM

The Commonwealth of Virginia has declared war on Uber and Lyft, a similar car service.  Uber responded by issuing an email saying they will continue service and addressed the Virginia DMV's concerns about the safety of their vehicles:

Uber has set the standard for consumer safety in the Commonwealth. All uberX rides in Virginia are insured up to $1,000,000, nearly 300% more than the $350,000 required of for-hire drivers by the Virginia DMV. While the Virginia DMV does not require that all for-hire drivers pass background checks, all drivers on the Uber platform pass rigorous background checks at the county, state and federal level before they are ever allowed access to the technology. Our commitment to safety far exceeds the requirements set by the Virginia DMV - making their actions puzzling.

According to In The Capital, in states like Florida and Massachusetts; police have been engaging in undercover sting operations to ensnare drivers - slapping them with fines.  While Uber and Lyft are taking care of the fines incurred by their employees - Lyft is even paying for legal fees - it still has some drivers weary of operating in states where their service is outlawed.

Townhall's Guy Benson was recently denied an Uber ride into Virginia because the driver was afraid of being ticketed by police.

So, if you're living in Arlington; your police department has vowed to enforce the ban.   But, have no fear; they're not going to prioritize enforcing this new mandate by the state's DMV:

The Arlington County Police Department at least, said it will be enforcing the new ban, according to a report from ARLnow.

That's a pretty big deal since of course Arlington County is where Uber and Lyft drivers will be going when they leave D.C. for Virginia. If it were just state police enforcing the ban, then it might theoretically be possible to vastly lower the chances of getting pulled over and cited just by sticking to surface roads as much as possible. With the county police on enforcement duty though, there's a much higher chance of getting into trouble for the drivers.

One silver lining for the drivers in that the ACPD said they will not be prioritizing enforcing the ban over other crimes. It's more likely to be something that is added to other charges of a driver, like if they are pulled over for speeding or something. Since Uber, if not Lyft, cars are hard to spot without asking the driver, that probably means there won't be a sudden influx of drivers into Arlington jails. It certainly wasn't difficult getting one to go to Virginia over the weekend.

So, if you're alone and taking an Uber ride in Virginia, I suggest sitting in the front seat. It's allowed.