Rideshare driver's confrontation with city inspectors reveals communication breakdowns
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Facebook video of a rideshare driver's confrontation with Honolulu city inspectors has revealed a communication breakdown.
Lynda Kernaghan has been an Uber and Lyft driver on Oahu for more than a year.
On Friday, she started recording on her cell phone as city inspectors arrived at Honolulu airport's staging area, where ridesharing drivers wait for airport pick ups.
The incident came at the same time a six month extension of a pilot program to allow uber and lyft drivers to make airport pick ups began.
"I asked them what is going on, they were just handing out this piece of paper saying they're looking for stuff, but they weren't clarifying what they're looking for," said Kernaghan.
The paper listed rules for ridesharing drivers, including where to place the company stickers, or trade dress, on the vehicle.
"This is what he made the driver do check them out," Kernaghan said in the video pointing to another Uber driver's vehicle. "He (the inspector) made them put the Lyft sticker on the outside, but we all know it's supposed to be on the inside passenger side window."
The confusion revealed that the ridesharing companies were actually giving drivers the wrong information.
"If Uber and Lyft are telling us one thing and the City and County are expecting us to do another thing, who do we follow?" asked Kernaghan in an interview with Hawaii News Now on Monday.
After the confrontation, the City clarified with the two companies that Uber stickers should be placed on the rear driver-side windshield.
Lyft stickers should go on the front and rear bumpers.
However, the City inspector did get one thing wrong on Friday.
"You have nothing to prove that you're an Uber driver right now," he said to Kernaghan in the video. "You have nothing to show me"
But Kernaghan did have her credentials on the ridesharing apps, which is acceptable.
In a statement Monday, the City said Uber and Lyft drivers are allowed to carry either paper or electronic copies of the required documentation and that it will continue to enforce the law through random field inspections.
Kernaghan admits she could have handled the situation better.
"I apologize for the way I acted," she told Hawaii News Now. "We're not trying to get a ticket or citation or be deactivated, We are just people trying to make a living."
The Facebook video has since been taken down.
Kernaghan said the city ended up inspecting six cars on Friday and cited one Uber driver.
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