Are TfL purposely misleading drivers over the change to the legislation that governs using a mobile phone in a vehicle?
Yesterday we asked our regulator if it is legal for a driver to accept a job booking through an app based platform whilst driving?
They replied as long as it was in a cradle... it was legal. When pointed out what the Surrey and Nottinghamshire police were advising they said " as long as common sense is used you should be ok"
YOU SHOULD BE OK!!!!!
In fact what TfL are saying here is as long as you don't get caught, you'll be OK.
They also insisted that the law hasn't been changed just the penalties. This would mean that TfL are aware that they have licensed app based systems such as Uber, Gett and Hailo, knowing full well that the systems require the driver to break the law laid out in the Act of 2003.
Is this why they are refusing to make a statement of any kind, in a notice to the trade?
Going by what Surrey police are saying on their Twitter page, using certain Credit Card phone based apps such as PayPal and iZettle etc requires the driver again to contravene the 2003 act. But TfL authorised these systems and insist the drivers use them.
Taxi leaks has spent two days asking TfL if they would make a statement to the trade, to clarify the legality of mobile apps and using a phone to clear credit card transactions.
TfL have flatly refused to make such a statement.
The only trade org who have asked questions of TfL on behalf of their members is the London Cab Drivers Club (LCDC). Their chairman, Grant Davis put this out on social media yesterday.....
"We have contacted Tfl today asking for clarification regarding the new mobile phone laws and the repercussions for taxi drivers using their apps:
Tfl did not have any impact assessment on any apps and I have stated as our Regulator, should any drivers be charged, I assume you will be representing them."
It's been left to Surrey police to make a statement which incidentally contradicts what TfLTPH have been putting out on their Twitter account.
This is what Surrey police have said
We've receiving lots of questions about using a mobile phone whilst driving.
The attached images below should answer most…
The burning question on every Taxi drivers lips is....
"How can an uber driver, currently undertaking an UberPool job -sanctioned by TfL- accept a second or subsequent fare legally?
Again this is a complete mess from our licensing authority TfLTPH and again shows them to be woefully inadequate as a regulator. They have have many years to sort this out. By their actions, they should be held as complicit should any legal action be taken against a driver by the police.
TfL's incompetence in regulating, also affects 120,000 private hire drivers who currently use their mobile phone, while driving, to accept jobs and job details.
The Uber drivers Union has asked TfLTPH what is the legal definition and TfL's guidance on what is 'common sense/good judgement' in this context.