SF Taxi Association Wants Stricter Rideshare Service Rules After Deadly Accident

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Accident Scene in Tenderloin

A young girl died and two other people were injured in San Francisco after they were hit by a car while crossing the street on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2013. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— San Francisco cab drivers are lobbying state lawmakers to require rival rideshare services to have the same insurance rules as taxis in response to a deadly accident on New Year’s Eve.

Six-year-old Sophia Liu was killed when she and her mother and brother were run over in a crosswalk by a man driving for the ride-share service Uber in the city’s Tenderloin District.

He was between runs at the time, so Uber claims no liability, and under the rules adopted by the state Public Utilities Commission, the drivers only have to carry commercial insurance while they are actually providing service.

That gives them an unfair advantage over traditional, fully-insured taxis, argued Barry Korengold, president of the San Francisco Cab Drivers Association.

“It’s ridiculous to say that they’re only insured when they’re on a call. Taxi cabs have to be insured 100 percent of the time. They don’t just disappear when they’re not on a call. They’re still out there on the road, as demonstrated by this accident, causing a danger to the public,” he said.

Korengold was joined by some association board members in their press for changes in state regulations on their trip to Sacramento.

Uber declined an interview for this story, saying the driver from the New Year’s Eve death incident has been let go, but extend deepest condolences to the Liu family and welcomes the opportunity to discuss the family’s legal concerns.

(Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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