Published June 20, 2017
An Uber driver in Florida was fined for violating a county ordinance that requires ride-sharing drivers to be “able to communicate in the English language.”
Cellphone video obtained by Telemundo 51 purportedly showed Carmen Echevarria receiving a $250 ticket from a Miami-Date police officer outside Miami International Airport.
Echevarria violated a 2016 Miami-Dade County memorandum that requires ride-sharing drivers to be able to communicate in basic English, according to NBC Miami.
"I felt discriminated against," Echevarria told Telemundo 51 in Spanish. "I asked the (passenger sitting in her car) ‘Can you please help translate what she is saying?’ Then she asked why, if I was an Uber driver, I didn’t speak English."
Karla Damian, a Miami-Dade Department of Transportation Public Relations officer, told NBC 6 in a statement that the driver should have some knowledge of English in case of an emergency.
A spokesman for Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said usually warnings are given instead of citations.
“It does seem like she could communicate in the English language and take directions so it's unfortunate that a fine was issued," the spokesman said. “The county can work with this driver and with Uber to address this situation."
Uber spokesman Javi Correoso said in a statement to NBC 6 that the ride-sharing service asks all of its drivers to follow the local laws and regulations. He added that some fines for Uber drivers have been paid for in the past by the company, but did not clarify whether Echevarria’s fine would be paid for as well.