French Taxi Drivers Drop Boulder On Uber Driver [VIDEO]

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Peter Fricke Contributor
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The anti-Uber protests by taxi drivers in France have turned ugly, even by French standards, as evidenced by a cell phone video showing cabbies dropping a boulder on an Uber car.

Details remain sketchy, as neither the perpetrator nor the victim has been identified, but the incident is illustrative of the level of violence that the cab drivers are employing to express their displeasure with competition from ridesharing services.

In the video, protestors standing atop a highway overpass spot an Uber vehicle stopped in traffic directly below them. One protestor then produces a boulder of uncertain provenance, which appeared to be at least the size of a basketball, and hurled it onto the car’s windshield. The driver promptly fled out of range amidst cheering from the overpass.

France has been convulsed by the riotous protests in recent days, with taxi drivers shutting down roadways, blocking access to Paris airports, and seemingly seeking out retaliation against Uber drivers, who they say are creating unfair competition because they do not abide by the same regulations that govern taxis. (RELATED: France Surrenders to Cabbies After Violent Uber Protest)

While such violence has not surfaced in America so far, U.S. taxi drivers have similar complaints to those leveled by the French, and have held their own protests in cities across the country to call attention to the issue. The taxi industry’s primary complaint is that Uber is not generally subject to laws imposing uniform rates, non-discriminatory practices, and safety standards. In addition, ridesharing vehicles do not have to display one of the infamous taxi medallions, which are limited by law and can fetch six-figure prices in large cities like New York. (RELATED: Experts at Odds Over Whether to Regulate Ridesharing or Deregulate Taxis)

Defenders of the ridesharing model, however, counter that market forces have already led companies like Uber to adopt their own safety standards, including vehicle inspections and driver background checks.

The remaining restrictions, they say, are classic examples of over-regulation that benefits established market participants while imposing additional costs on consumers and keeping new entrants out of the market.

A number of U.S. cities and states have already crafted compromise solutions that allow Uber to operate legally, usually by requiring drivers to register with the agency that oversees taxi operations while exempting them from certain fees and regulations. (RELATED: AZ, MD Become Latest States to Pass Ridesharing Regulations)


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Peter Fricke