$57,000 in fines for illegal ride-hailing operation

Illegal ride-hailing hit hard

It doesn’t pay to operate an illegal ride-hailing service in Burnaby.

Local RCMP members have ramped up their stings in the city with a series of sweeps that have resulted in $57,000 in fines in recent weeks.

“Did you know in BC to legally engage in ride hailing you have to meet the criminal record and driving history requirements, have a class 4 driver licence and have your vehicle inspected?” Burnaby RCMP tweeted earlier this week. “All of which is to ensure the safety of passengers and the proper training of drivers.”

The most recent sting saw seven drivers caught engaging in ride hailing using illegal apps and without meeting provincial standards to operate. In all, 24 tickets were issued totaling $13,998 in fines.

The week before saw a sting that led to officers catching seven drivers operating illegal ride-hailing services and issuing 24 tickets for nearly $15,000 in fines.

“We wish to remind those who engage in ride hailing to #staylegal,” tweeted Burnaby RCMP. “Which means having the appropriate licences, criminal record check and inspection.”

This followed 7 drivers earlier in March being nailed for 22 tickets totalling more than $13,000. This also follows a February sting in which 10 drivers were caught and 30 tickets totalling more than $15,000 were handed out. Drivers also had their vehicles towed away and impounded.

Burnaby RCMP also teamed up with ICBC and Port Moody police recently to hand out 10 tickets for distracted driving.

In recent weeks, officers also conducted a commercial vehicle enforcement blitz in Burnaby that ended in more than half the trucks checked being taken off the road for serious violations and defects.

Most of those issues would have been caught if drivers had simply completed their required pre-trip vehicle inspections before hitting the road, according to Const. Kevin Connolly with Burnaby RCMP’s traffic enforcement unit.

In all, officers inspected 238 vehicles over three days and pulled 131 from the road for a total of 374 violations and 216 defects.

Three of the trucks taken out of service were found to have at least one tire no longer attached to the rim.

“They had completely gone flat and fallen off and were just wobbling,” Connolly said.

Among a number of sketchy dangerous goods violations caught by officers was one enclosed trailer reeking of gasoline.

When officers opened the trailer, it was filled with fumes, and they found four large jerry cans of gasoline all with their caps open, according to Connolly.

“Essentially the trailer was a moving bomb,” he said. “Any spark would have just ignited those fumes, and it would have been an awful thing on the road.”

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