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Illegal ride-hailing drivers in Richmond served $18K in fines

RCMP targeted drivers using unauthorized ride-hailing apps.
Richmond RCMP and the Passenger Transportation Branch targetted illegal ride-hailing services.

Twenty-five charges were laid in a one-day crackdown on illegal ride-hailing operators in Richmond, resulting in more than $18,000 in fines.

On June 13, Richmond RCMP Road Safety Unit and the Passenger Transportation Branch (PTB) conducted a targeted enforcement operation to identify and apprehend unlicensed ride-hailing operators within the city.

The covert operation, which used apps not authorized to operate in B.C., led to the identification and interception of several unlicensed drivers who were circumventing regulatory requirements, including background checks and vehicle inspections.

Charges included operating without a valid license, using a wrong class driver’s license, and failing to display a valid vehicle inspection certificate.

Each driver faces a cumulative fine of $3,076, totalling $18,458 in fines.

This amount excludes additional costs related to towing, storage and inspection fees.

Some drivers were repeat offenders, according to the Richmond RCMP.

One driver was apprehended for the fourth time since 2021, while another had previously been stopped by Richmond RCMP on May 28.

“Unlicensed ride-hailing services pose significant risks to public safety due to the lack of proper vetting, including background checks and vehicle inspections,” said Sgt. Eric Baskette of the road safety unit.

“We are warning the public of the inherent risks of using unauthorized apps, which include unlicensed and uninsured drivers.”

The May 28 sting, also conducted by Richmond RCMP and the PTB resulted in $12,950 in fines for illegal ride-hailing services for six drivers as well as towing and inspection fees.

- With files from Vikki Hui

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