Rideshare company Uber has been hit with more than $200,000 in fines after a raft of incidents were not reported to the NSW regulator, with a transport union revealing these included alleged sexual assaults and collisions.
An audit by the NSW Point to Point Transport Commissioner Anthony Wing found that over a two-week period, 37 per cent of Uber’s drivers had worked more than 12 hours continuously, with some as much as 17 hours per shift.
Over a six-month period, multiple complaints were registered against more than 50 drivers for using mobile phones or being “drowsy”, but they were able to remain active on the platform.
Mr Wing said Uber had a number of “sophisticated” systems in place to monitor such activity and needed to be continuously on guard.
“Uber needs to make sure that this technology is doing what it is meant to do at all times,” Mr Wing said.
“In addition, Uber needs to make sure that its various systems are working effectively with each other to ensure the overall safety of its services.
“Safety is my priority and regardless of a business’s size, compliance with the law is necessary to achieve this.”
The audit resulted in the rideshare company being issued with 13 improvement notices.
Meanwhile, the Transport Workers Union alleged the US-owned rideshare service failed to report more than 500 notifiable incidents – including crashes and alleged sexual assaults – to the NSW regulator, although no mention was made of this in the official statement released by the state government authority.
“Federal regulation is the only solution,” the TWU said in a statement.
TWU national secretary Michael Kaine accused the NSW government of largely letting Uber “off the hook”.
An Uber representative said the vast majority of the fines were the result of notifiable occurrences that the company “proactively identified” and reported to the regulator following an internal audit.
“The overwhelming majority of these reports related to minor matters, such as minor collisions,” the spokesperson said.
“While only a small number of these notifiable incidents were with regard to sexual misconduct – we want to make it clear that we take all allegations of sexual misconduct extremely seriously and work to take action quickly and fairly.