An Uber Driver Was Fined $250 For Not Speaking English

However, Hechevarria appeared to have been able to understand directions and was able to ask her passenger for help translating, suggesting that she does have "some knowledge of the English language". When Uber, Lyft and other similar companies were authorized to compete with taxis in Miami-Dade County legislation approved in May of a year ago, an English-language provision within the law was adopted, reports the Miami Herald. "I told her 'so sorry, a little English, ' then she called the inspector who also confronted me and told me in order to be an Uber driver I needed to speak English".

"The more he spoke to her", Johnson wrote, according to the newspaper, "the more he realized she could not speak or understand English".

Echevarria, who says she's been an Uber driver for the past two years, is outraged over the fine she received at Miami International Airport Sunday morning.

Miami law requires all ride-hailing drivers to be able to communicate in English under the terms of a local ordinance passed in May 2016 which allowed Uber, Lyft and other similar companies to legally compete with taxi companies.

"It says they have to communicate in English".

An inspector then came over to fine her, and Echevarria recorded the incident on her phone.

INSPECTOR: Because there is a code "Unable to communicate in English".

She recounted the story to Telemundo, saying she couldn't understand what the security guard was saying to her after he stopped her auto. On Tuesday, Hechevarria's fine was reversed following her employer's complaint.

She recalled the incident began when an airport worker told her to move her vehicle: "She said, 'I don't know what you're doing working for Uber if you don't speak English.' I did understand that part of the conversation".

Miami-Dade Department of Transportation Public Relations Officer Karla Damian issued a statement clarifying the rule.

"It does seem like she could communicate in the English language and take directions, so it's unfortunate that a fine was issued", said Mike Hernandez, the mayor's communications director.

According to the mayor's spokesperson, about 40 such citations have been issued to drivers.

Uber spokesman Javi Correoso told NBC Miami that the Miami-Dade ordinance is "vague and hard to enforce".

The July 1 Florida law does provide a way for local governments to decide how ride-sharing companies will work at airports.

  • Arturo Norris