Sick Opportunist Taxi Industry Lobbyists Use Death Of 6-Year-Old Girl To Attack Uber

from the disgusting dept

We've talked many times about how legacy industries will stop at nothing to attack disruptive upstarts and innovators. Rather than compete, they'll try to come up with the craziest stories of "harm" being done in order to try to restrict competition through regulation. As we've seen time and time again, while companies often claim to be "against regulation," what many legacy providers have realized is that once they understand the regulations, they can actually be used quite effectively to limit competition and keep out disruption (while also allowing those legacy player to artificially inflate prices). Nowhere is that more clear than with traditional taxi/limo companies and their out and out hatred for Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and other similar services.

The latest showed up in my email box a few weeks back, where Robert Werth, the head of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association went to incredibly depraved depths, trying to argue that the tragic story of a six-year-old girl, who was hit and killed by "an UberX driver" showed that Uber needs more regulations. Of course, the details show that the driver in question, Syed Muzaffar, wasn't even working for Uber at the time of the accident. Trying to push your political agenda on the back of a tragic accident involving a child is pretty sick. And, really, this doesn't seem like the sort of fight that Werth wants to get into, seeing as a story just popped up elsewhere talking about a NYC cab driver killing a 9-year-old boy.

Accidents happen not because Uber isn't regulated in the same manner as taxicabs, but because accidents happen. The fact that Werth and the taxi lobby immediately jumped on such a tragic accident as if it was an opportunity to bash a company that many riders have found to serve a real need -- a need that cabs often fail to provide -- is really just an incredibly low blow from an organization that clearly doesn't want to innovate, but would rather hold back and limit innovation. Even if it means twisting the tragic story of a 6-year-old girl to make their point.


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  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jan 13th, 2014 @ 10:12am

    As low and twisted it is we've seen this before. Or haven't the MAFIAA used hideous child porn as excuse to introduce bad laws?

    I'm guessing that the drivers would rather maintaina distance from them... Much like Artists are recognizing the labels couldn't care less about them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2014 @ 10:16am

    the entertainment industries are just as bad, using the reason of child pornography as a means to block and/or shut down websites, when there was no child porn anywhere to be seen! this idiot has just jumped on the band wagon of 'any excuse will do'!

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 13th, 2014 @ 10:27am

    When I first saw the story on Twitter, I noted how quickly they jumped on the idea that Uber was somehow at fault.

    That Tim Cushing guy is to blame.
    https://twitter.com/TimCushing/status/418798960493338626

    Somehow this case is worse because it might have something to do with Uber, while I am sure there are many people injured/killed by taxis without all of the hype.

    But then I am rarely shocked by the lengths a legacy industry will go to attempt to keep their grip on things.

     

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  4. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2014 @ 10:47am

    The Day We Fight Back - FEBRUARY 11TH

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2014 @ 10:50am

    Turnabout is fair play?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Jan 13th, 2014 @ 11:08am

    Sick Opportunist Blogger Uses Death Of 9-Year-Old Boy To Support Uber

    "The latest showed up in my email box a few weeks back," -- AND it's so urgent that you waited until now...

    Uber is another of Mike's faves. It's not actually clear why except that like all loony "libertarians" he seems to think unlicensed bandits in taxis are better than licensed ones. And of course, the arranging is "on teh internets" so it's gotta be great. -- In fact, the real problems are systemic and endemic: round here taxi services seem to work fine; it's just in crowded mega-hives those are monopolized by The Rich like all else. Problem is as always The Rich.

    But legacy industries as such don't trouble Mike: he supports the hoary old legislated monopoly of the National Football League. Mike also seems to like Google's monopoly and want it to grow. (I recognize that's complex assertion, yet FACT is that Google has its field rather well controlled and lacks competition, which is ODD in itself given the enormous profits...) Anyway, Mike isn't so uniformly against monopolies as his support of Uber implies, it's just that like all weenies, he's enamored of using his Ipad to call a taxi.

    Everyone now loves "free markets!" -- Especially The Born Rich who get to start "competing" with a pile of money.

    07:07:22[i-50-4]

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2014 @ 11:12am

    Re: Sick Opportunist Blogger Uses Death Of 9-Year-Old Boy To Support Uber

    And here comes OotB defending the entrenched business interests once again.

    Stay tuned for 5 words later when he rails against them.

     

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    out_of_the_orange, Jan 13th, 2014 @ 11:13am

    Re: Sick Opportunist Blogger Uses Death Of 9-Year-Old Boy To Support Uber

    Blah blah blah, Google and rich people are evil, Techdirt is their henchman. Don't you ever get tired of this?

     

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  9. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2014 @ 11:13am

    "Accidents happen not because Uber isn't regulated in the same manner as taxicabs, but because accidents happen."

    Nope. Accident is when you walk out of the public restroom with toilet paper sticking to your shoe sole.

    When a donkey driver from Middle East desert runs over a child in NYC it is called manslaugher.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2014 @ 11:22am

    Re:

    I'm pretty sure that manslaughter charges are pressed when the defendant did not intend to kill the victim. Furthermore, accident is generally used in a binary classification system in where things are either "accidental" or "on purpose". Unless you mean to say the driver saw the kid and drove right at her in an attempt to kill her, it would be considered an accident.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2014 @ 11:27am

    Re:

    You seem nice.

     

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    Pat, Jan 13th, 2014 @ 11:44am

    In other news...

    In other news, Robert Werth has just been approached by "FOX News" to anchor one of their shows.

    Word is the GOP also has a eye on him as a possible candidate for 2016. Our source was quoted as saying "He'll fit right in!".

     

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    Richard (profile), Jan 13th, 2014 @ 11:45am

    Everybody Limbo!

    Nobody can compete at Limbo with Robert Werth. He can go lower than everyone.

     

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    Matthew A. Sawtell, Jan 13th, 2014 @ 11:59am

    A link to the death in question

    This was the link I originally forwarded to Mike last week:

    http://blog.angryasianman.com/2014/01/6-year-old-pedestrian-struck-and-killed.html

    Beyond the question of trying to get after Uber, any little bit would help this girl's family.

     

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    DOlz (profile), Jan 13th, 2014 @ 12:18pm

    Misread, but more honest

    "Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association", glancing at the text quickly I misread that phrase as, Taxicab, Limousine & Parasite Association.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2014 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Re: Sick Opportunist Blogger Uses Death Of 9-Year-Old Boy To Support Uber

    To be fair, rich people ARE evil!

     

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    Vic B (profile), Jan 13th, 2014 @ 3:18pm

    I agree with Mike's first paragraph but I think he isn't being fair when blaming the "victims". Taxi drivers and the companies managing cab fleets have had to expand time, effort and money to meet ever increasing government regulations over the years and it is only right that they shoud fight to ensure they are competing on an even playing field. Uber et all are only disruptive in that they don't come from that world and its rules and are only concerned with supplying demand. The real fight should be directed at government regulations and those who seek to preserve them, and yes, that could also be the cab companies.

     

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  18.  
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    JT, Jan 13th, 2014 @ 4:26pm

    Re:

    I keep re-reading this article and i cannot find one instance of mike blaming the victims (wondering what your quote marks are for though)

     

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  19.  
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    BeeAitch (profile), Jan 13th, 2014 @ 5:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sick Opportunist Blogger Uses Death Of 9-Year-Old Boy To Support Uber

    To be fair, the 'fact' that rich people are evil has no bearing on the OP or the comments so far.*

    *I intentionally do not count ootb's rant as a legitimate comment.

     

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  20.  
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    NuclearOption, Jan 13th, 2014 @ 8:36pm

    Using a tragedy to blacken your opponent's reputation - and scare the public at the same time - is hardly a new tactic.

    George Bush (the elder) would never have been elected president if not for campaign manager Lee Atwater's persistent use of the Willie Horton rape as a central campaign theme.

    Although highly controversial (to say the least) it's one of the most effective tactics of persuasion ever devised.

     

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  21.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jan 14th, 2014 @ 12:53am

    Re:

    Would this not also be an accident in your opinion if the driver had a name like John Smith, or did you just insert your racist hatred for the hell of it rather than through pure ignorance?

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Jan 14th, 2014 @ 1:14am

    Re:

    There's a reason almost all political battles end up mud-slinging matches, because it's both incredibly cheap, and sadly very effective more often than not.

     

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  23.  
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    taxi, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 9:21am

    responsiblity

    I believe what Mr Werth was trying to point out is the transportation business is responsibility for its actions. Uber wants to be just a software and not a transportation broker because transportation is a risky business. the yellow cab owner in New York must take responsibility for this terrible accident or lose his medallions or business. Uber first response is we are not responsible. They are both in the same business. Uber just does not want to take responsibility.

    The California PUC was warned by the insurance industry and paid no attention. This is gross negligence or corruption. I am sure future law suits will determine that.

    ubers valuation cannot allow it to be a transportation company . Providing commercial insurance on every car would significant change their future profitability. I think insurance carriers will be heard in 2014. I don't think the message will be good for sedans acting as taxis and rider share drivers.

     

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  24.  
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    Larry, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 9:34am

    Uber

    Mr Disgusting,

    Maybe in your gushing praise for anything Uber you failed to ask yourself just what the Uber driver was doing on the street during the AM hours when he ran over a family and killed a little girl... Oh wait, he was trolling for Uber fares... Wow! Is it safe to assume that if he was not driving for Uber he would not have there at all... Well, yes...

    Is it safe to say that the taxicab industry lives by certain rules including how many hours a driver may work? Well, no.. that is a state law... BUT, are taxicab companies supposed to help enforce this law... Well, yes.. Does Uber... well, no..

    Is it safe to say that the taxicab industry informed regulators that Uber would deny liability for accidents.. Well, yes.. Sadly, we were right and they were wrong...

    I assume you wrote this inane article because Uber told you to do it and in exchange they promised to give you some inside information... Well, yes...

     

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  25.  
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    Joe, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 10:09am

    Limo/taxi

    UBER is a bunch of scumbags,hucksters and ganefs.They violate transportations laws, TRO's and Cease and Desist Letters in every jurisdiction they operate in. In NYC during a snow storm they ripped off Jerry Seinfeld's wife $438 to take her daughter 13 blocks to sleepover after a bat mitzvah. An Uber driver beat up a passenger calling him filthy names regarding his sexual orientation and ethnicity. That driver was proven to be an ex-con serving prison time for drug dealing. UBER has never drug tested or finger printed a driver any where in the USA. They also do not have even one wheelchair accessible vehicle anywhere in the USA.
    If UBER wants to be in the transportation business; they should obey transportation laws. Being a computer nerd schmuck in the Haight Ashbury district is not a n exemption from social and legal responsibility.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 7:32pm

    Re: Uber

    Ironic.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Limo/taxi

    You need better talking points and less obvious shilling if you want to succeed.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jan 15th, 2014 @ 2:50am

    Re: Uber

    "Oh wait, he was trolling for Uber fares."

    This is where you link to evidence to support your claim. Unless you just pulled a "fact" out of your arse because it supports your assumptions, of course. We'll wait.

    Oh wait, you're a lying asshole:

    "you failed to ask yourself just what the Uber driver was doing on the street during the AM hours"

    This did not happen:

    "A 6-year-old girl died in one of the crashes, which happened at 8 p.m. Tuesday when Syed Muzaffar, 57, of Union City failed to yield" Source: http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Arrests-in-2-S-F-crashes-that-killed-pedestrians-5108718.php

    We'l l forget about the idiotic assertion that someone driving at the early hours of the morning must be working if they happen to have an Uber account, since that bears no relationship to what actually happened here.

    So, are you so stupid you don't know the difference between AM and PM, or are you just a liar? Let me guess, you're related to the racist moron above who thinks someone with a funny name can't have a genuine accident?

     

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