Uber is asking the Oregon Legislature to pass regulations that would allow the ride-hailing app to be used statewide. During the first week of August, Uber met with The Oregonian and OregonLive’s board to discuss statewide use of the service.
Representative Brian Clem and Senator Chris Edwards plan on pushing the laws through their respective chambers. Throughout Oregon, Uber and their rival company Lyft are currently only available in the Portland area. Uber was recently in Eugene and Salem, but had to leave both cities because of unfavorable city regulations and a low number of users. Uber and state lawmakers hope these new laws could improve unfavorable local regulations and have Uber’s drivers work as independent contractors, not as employees of Uber.
“Right now, you’d have to come under our taxicab rules,” said City Attorney Mary Winters. “But if they came to the city and said they wanted some other rules we’d have to have a discussion and look at what other cities have done. If they come to us and there’s a market and the community wants them, the City Council would decide whether to direct our legal department to do more research and to look at a different process.”
According to The Register-Guard, taxi companies are not as welcoming to the ride-sharing services. “Transportation is really big here,” said Randy Mahaney, owner of Taxis of Bend, “and I don’t foresee the need for Uber or Lyft being that there are seven taxi companies, two town car companies and buses.”
Taxi services may not be looking forward to statewide Uber usage, but many Oregon residents are excited for the opportunity. Although a number of controversies have surrounded ride sharing services like Uber, the service remains widely used in major cities across the country. And added convenience isn’t the only reason some lawmakers want Uber and Lyft to come to town.
Many people are hopeful the ride-sharing apps arrive in their cities to potentially lower the amount of drunk drivers on the road. These drug and alcohol related accidents still disrupt lives on a daily basis. If you’ve been involved in any sort of drunk driving crash in Oregon, you should contact an experienced criminal law firm and speak with a DUII attorney right away.
Drunk driving is still an epidemic in the United States. Every day, more than 300,000 people drive drunk, but less than 4,000 are arrested. That’s disturbing, because the average drunk driver has driven drunk nearly 80 times before they are caught and arrested. In Oregon, the legal blood alcohol limit a driver must not exceed is 0.08%, a low bar that’s crossed far too often.
If you’re in need of a DUII attorney, contact our experienced criminal law firm as soon as possible.