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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Companies: tlpa, uber

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

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That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

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.

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.

out_of_the_blue says:

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.


Anonymous Coward says:

“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.

Anonymous Coward (user link) says:

Re: 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.

Vic B (profile) says:

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.

NuclearOption says:

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.

taxi says:


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.

Larry says:


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…

PaulT (profile) says:

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:

We’ll 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?

Joe says:


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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