SF Appeals Court Orders Uber To Comply With DA’s Subpoenas For On Drivers’ Records

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A state appeals court has ruled that Uber Technologies Inc. must comply with subpoenas by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera for information on drivers’ traffic violations and service to disabled passengers.

A three-judge Court of Appeal in San Francisco on Friday rejected Uber’s argument that the subpoenas interfered with the authority of the California Public Utilities Commission, which receives the information in annual reports from ride-hailing companies.

Herrera is investigating whether Uber and Lyft Inc. violated laws that ban public nuisances and obstruction of streets and require equal accommodation of all passengers. Lyft agreed last year to comply with the subpoenas, which Herrera issued in June 2017.

The probe stems in part from a 2016 San Francisco Police Department study that showed ride-hailing drivers accounted for nearly 65 percent of the city’s moving violations, including driving in or blocking transit and bicycle lanes, failing to yield to pedestrians and making illegal U-turns in business districts.

San Francisco-based Uber appealed after a San Francisco Superior Court judge upheld the subpoenas in October 2017. A spokesperson for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday’s ruling.

“Uber is not above the law,” Herrera said. “The city has legitimate concerns about the company’s impact on traffic, disability access and safety on our roadways. This court order affirms that Uber should have provided this information more than a year ago, like Lyft did. Enough of the stalling and delay tactics. San Franciscans deserve to know if Uber is following the law and how their business is impacting this city.”

Justice Ioana Petrou wrote in the appeals court’s ruling, “The city attorney has a broad right to investigate, including the use of subpoenas, when it suspects an entity operating within its jurisdiction is violating the law.”

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