When Can You Turn Uber Passengers Away?
Turning Uber Passengers Away
Of course, as an Uber driver, you can’t discriminate against people — everyone has a right to use Uber’s service, until they cross a line. As a driver, you need to protect both you and the passenger.
Drivers are often uneasy about denying passengers — why? Well, because under certain circumstances, you could get deactivated. Have you already experienced a situation which left you in an awkward or tough spot? If so, it’s beneficial to understand when you can legally turn passengers away.
When Is It Okay to Turn Away Passengers?
Depending on the situation, you may want to turn passengers away. In many cases, drivers don’t think a certain route is beneficial — for instance, they may need to pay tolls or drive through rush hour. Within these cases, as long as the passenger is within the Uber area you work in, you generally have to accept.
So, is there a time when turning away passengers is okay? If so, how do you go about these specific situations?
A New Issue — Drunk Passengers
Being a rideshare service, Uber has advertised that it’s the perfect solution for drinking and driving. Like other taxis, this is generally the easiest way for passengers to get home after a night out. The thing is, this has risen a new dilemma — the possibility of working with drunk, potentially aggressive individuals.
There have been a number of incidents, including a well-known attack in Los Angeles, as well as West Palm Beach. In response to the second major incident, Uber did respond to their drivers. They stated that if a passenger is in a drunken state, drivers can deny a ride, in addition to giving a bad passenger rating.
One of the largest concerns, is that a large portion of Uber drivers are part-time — working ten or less hours a week. This means, that they are less experienced in terms of these tricky situations and this not only makes their job more challenging, but also more dangerous. If you feel unsafe at any point — no job is worth the risk that you’ll potentially be harmed.
In regards to pets, drivers will need to accommodate guide dogs, based on a recent incident. A blind passenger was denied a ride because of his dog — leading to a settlement. Uber has always required drivers to pick-up guide dogs, however, there have been a number of incidents in the past, including dogs being locked in the trunk. Just use common sense — this clearly isn’t responsible behavior.
At the end of the day, you should not need to take any verbal or physical abuse. You’re just out trying to make a living, and should receive the same amount of respect in which you give. Uber has stated that they’re dedicated to both the safety of their riders and drivers, so how are you protected?
Well, besides the fact that all locations and related pieces of information are tracked, Uber offers a rapid response unit and law enforcement support if needed. With that being said, you don’t want to get to that point — you do not want to be in need of one of those solutions.
At the end of the day, you need to be respectful. You cannot refuse a ride if it’s within your working area or if you simply do not want to take an individual for some unjustified reason. Discrimination should not be tolerated on either end — coming from the driver or passenger.
There appears to be some gray areas in terms of Uber’s rules and regulations, but if your safety is ever a concern, you most certainly have the right to refuse a passenger. If this happens, contact Uber immediately in order to report the incident. If the individual was drunk and belligerent, for instance, if it’s safe to do so, record brief footage.
Yes, you want to protect your job, but nothing is more important than your well-being. To read more about Uber’s legal deactivation policy, you can do so here.