Uber is now Legal in Queensland, click here to read the new article.

Have you used an Uber service?

Attracted by its convenience (or the chance to earn a little extra cash), many Australians have started using Uber.

With its popularity, questions have arisen regarding Uber’s legal status. So, is Uber legal in Queensland?

What Are the Main Legal Issues in Queensland?

Uber operates through its American company, over the Internet. So, it’s not illegal – but it is unlicensed and unregulated.

There are a lot of factors that could affect Uber’s operations in Queensland; it’s unlikely to stay in a grey area for long.

For example, the Queensland Government is looking into legislation to regulate Uber’s operations.

In the meantime, if you’re a driver or a user, there are some issues to note.

Could I Get in Trouble for Uber Driving?

There is an ongoing question about whether Uber should be classified as a ‘passenger service’ or a ‘taxi service’. This might seem insignificant, but it makes a difference to drivers’ responsibilities.

With Uber in this grey area, if you’re a driver, you might be fined for Driving without an Authority.

If you did get prosecuted for this, you could be penalised up to $18848, and your licence could be disqualified too. There also could be insurance issues if you have an accident with a passenger in your car.

It might be worth weighing this risk against the income potential of your Uber driving – at least for the moment.

Why Are There These Consequences?

It might seem like a tough penalty, but driver authorisation is about safety.

The reason why this penalty exists is to make sure that a driver is a safe, capable, responsible person. When you ride in a transport service, you want to know that you’re in safe hands.

It’s difficult to tell if an Uber driver has these attributes. Uber’s driver requirements don’t cover all these areas.

What if I Ride Uber?

As an Uber rider, you’re not likely to get fined. But, you might be risking your safety.

Uber specifies that its drivers must be at least 21 years old with a full driver’s licence. They need to pass a criminal history and driving history check. Their car needs to be a registered four-door vehicle that is a 2006 model or newer with CTP and third party property insurance.

These requirements alone don’t guarantee you a safe, capable and responsible driver.

There’s no denying that Uber is a convenient service; it’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth the risk.

If you need help with a traffic law issue, you can contact Brooke Winter Solicitors for a free phone consultation on 1300 066 669.