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Hidden camera investigation shows Uber & Lyft drivers willing to break law

Posted at 5:17 PM, May 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-22 07:08:41-04

We have child car seat laws in order to avoid tragedies. But, turns out some drivers working for popular ride sharing services like Uber and lift are willing to break the law.

Our hidden camera, undercover investigation is exposing those who are willing to risk children’s lives for the price of a ride.

In Michigan, the law is clear: Children younger than 8 or shorter than 4”9, have to be in a child safety seat.

First responders say it’s a matter of life and death.

“I’ve watched a child go forward, go into the windshield and have a crushed skull,” says EMS paramedic Gary McMenamin.

We decided to put Uber and Lyft drivers to the test, to find out just how many were willing to ignore state law, and drive a mother and her 2-year-old son without a child safety seat.

Emily Gottschling and her son “Weston” came with us for a total of 6 calls - 3 to Uber and 3 to Lyft.

Emily also agreed to be part of our hidden camera investigation to document what we found.

After calling 6 different drivers, we found 5 of them were willing to illegally take us for a ride without a child car seat.

“People have gotten in the car and never asked, so we just go,” said one driver. Another telling us “If you’re alright with it, I’m okay with it.”

A different driver acknowledged the law, then told us, “Well, I’ll be careful.”

However, our last driver would not allow us into his car, saying, “You have to have a child seat, I’ll get a ticket for that.”

During our investigation, we never actually rode anywhere with those drivers, meaning we didn't break the law.

Below are statements from both Uber & Lyft:

Uber's community guidelines lay out our expectation that drivers using the Uber app follow all relevant state, federal, and local laws and the rules of the road at all times. Drivers and riders who violate these guidelines risk losing access to Uber.

Lyft passengers are welcome to bring children in the car provided they have the proper car seats that fit legal requirements in their state and city. Safety is our top priority and young children should not be traveling in any vehicle - a personally owned car, a taxi, or a rideshare vehicle - without the proper safety equipment. 

Drivers should know that they have our full support declining a ride for passengers who do not follow Lyft’s safety policies, and their decision to do so will not impact their rating. 

We periodically remind drivers of this policy through Driver’s Digest emails and notifications. We ask that anyone concerned about a specific incident contact our Critical Response Line immediately so we can take the appropriate action.