Tue06272017

LAST_UPDATEFri, 30 Jun 2017 8am

Uber Driver Fined In Miami-Dade County For Violating Rule Requiring Ability To Speak English

An Uber driver in South Florida was given a hefty ticket for violating a county ordinance that speaks less to how she handles her vehicle than other skills.

Cell phone footage obtained exclusively by our sister station Telemundo 51 captured Carmen Echevarria, getting a $250 ticket from a Miami-Dade Police officer outside Miami International Airport. Her violation? Not being able to speak English correctly.

“I felt discriminated against,” Echevarria told the station. “I asked the (passenger sitting in her car) ‘Can you please help translate what she is saying?’ Then she asked why, if I was an Uber driver, I didn’t speak English.“

In May 2016, Miami-Dade County issued a memorandum with rules for transportation network drivers – with one of the requirements being "able to communicate in the English language."

“I told her ‘so sorry, a little English’ then she called the inspector who also confronted me and told me in order to be an Uber driver I need it to speak English”.

In May, Florida Gov. Rick Scott in signed into law CS/HB 221, which overrides local laws like the English requirement and also spells out insurance and background check requirements for ride-sharing companies.

Uber spokesman Javi Correoso sent a statment to NBC 6 saying the company is "proud of the diversity of driver partners in the South Florida market." Correoso went on to say that until statewide regulations go into effect on July 1st, Uber asks all driver partners in the state to follow all applicable local laws and regulations.

The current language requirement for drivers in Miami is not listed on the Uber website for the area. Correoso said the memo law for Miami-Dade County is "very vague and difficult to enforce" and is not listed on their website because drivers are asked to follow all laws and regulations when they sign up.

Correoso said all paperwork given to drivers on applications is in English. He also said some fines for Uber drivers have been paid in the past by the company, but could not confirm if they would pay for Echevarria's fine.

-NBC