New Uber Feature To Attempt To Enforce Rest Periods For Drivers

New Uber Feature To Attempt To Enforce Rest Periods For Drivers”

In an effort to combat drowsy driving, Uber announced today that it would require its most frequent drivers to take six-hour breaks after driving for 12 hours straight.

The US policy change comes a month after Uber introduced a similar policy in the United Kingdom, which logs drivers out for six hours after they work 10 in a row. Uber is updating the driver version of the app so that it logs off after counting 12 hours of driving, and drivers will not be able to log on until after the app registers six hours offline. For example, someone who has picked up fares in two, six-hour spurts - without taking six hours of rest in between - would have their app disabled after the second leg. In its statement to the Post, Uber emphasised it was implementing the new restrictions regardless of who was technically legally responsible for controlling how long the drivers were on the road.

Its that kind of thinking Uber wants all its drivers to have.

The feature will count most driving time, including being stopped at a light, with the exception of a few things like when you're waiting in an airport parking lot. The change was likely motivated by a string of recent setbacks for Uber in the United Kingdom and Europe, including London's transport authority declining to renew its license to operate in September 2017, citing consumer safety concerns. Uber imposed a 12-hour limit on its New York drivers in February 2016, after the New York Post reported that some drivers were pulling 19-hour shifts.

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"This move will strengthen our approach to helping keep riders and drivers safe on the road while preserving the flexibility drivers tell us they love", said Uber product director Sachin Kansal, in a blog post.

After a barrage of criticism, Uber agreed to limit Big Apple Uber drivers to 12 hour shifts (the same standard used for city taxi drivers). According to Scott Coriell, spokesman for Lyft, "the company's drivers must take a 6-hour break for every 14 hours they're in driver mode".

"We want to do our part to help prevent drowsy driving", Kansal said. It's quite likely that the app won't even stop those who work more than 12 hours. But that's not the only reason for Uber to enforce mandatory breaks.

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