Underage children calling Uber to ride home from school

Updated: Apr. 19, 2019 at 10:13 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A local ride-share driver says he refuses to give rides to kids under 18 on a daily basis because of Uber and Lyft policies.

Steve, who didn’t want to go on camera, is trying to get a policy changed after an alarming call he got recently.

“I pull up and it’s a 12-year-old and an 8-year-old little girl. After I pull up, I get a phone call from a lady saying I needed to pick up her daughters and bring them home.”

Steve refused, saying it’s against policy.

“I explained to her that would put me at risk, being a grown man picking up a 12- and eight-year-old unsupervised without a parent,” he said.

Steve says it’s not just middle-school students but high schoolers as well.

“I’ve been called as much as four times in one hour to go up there. I mean, back to back, I’d cancel one and then another one would pop right up behind it,” he says.

Steve says there’s no way to know for sure if it’s really the parents making the request, or if they’re taking the children someplace that might not be safe. But Steve does think he has a solution.

“I suggested to Uber and Lyft and other rideshare services that they put a blackout to where we can’t pick up on school campuses during dismissal and arrival hours," he says.

Steve says he wants to err on the side of caution, saying so much could go wrong without a parent there to supervise and make sure kids get in the right car.

“And none of us wants to see one of our kids get into a car that’s not the car they’re supposed to be getting into,” he says.

Steve got a call from state school superintendent Eric Mackey’s office saying a change would most likely require new legislation, but they were interested in looking into the issue.

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