It’s happened in South Australia, NSW and the ACT, and now UberX has effectively been legalised in Victoria after a landmark court case.
UberX driver Nathan Brenner has recently been found not guilty on appeal of driving a commercial passenger vehicle without accreditation, and without a commercial license. Although found guilty last year , the Victorian County Court dismissed all charges made by the Taxi Services Commission and ordered them to pay the appeal costs. Although Uber passengers likely haven’t noticed any impact on their trips due to the company operating as normal, this provides an interesting insight into the ability of judges to make law. By effectively legalising Uber in this manner, the magistrate has bypassed the indecision by the Andrews government on the status of Uber in Victoria.
Although the government has stated that it is still taking time to consider the court’s findings, it is highly likely that Uber will be given the green light in the near future. In showing the blurred line between what is legal and what is – arguably – a progression for the state, it’s notable that the law can be interpreted by judges that seems contrary to legislation. Furthermore, the true surprise is that it has taken so long for an alternative to taxis in the public transport area to arrive. Although there are those on both sides of the issue, it’s undeniable that healthy competition and lower prices are a winning combination for Uber passengers.
Article written by Jonty Simmons