Ohio Uber drivers taking stand against parents who call rides for young children

Uber and Lyft driver Brian Dixon. (Source: WOIO)
Uber and Lyft driver Brian Dixon. (Source: WOIO)

NORTHEAST OHIO (WOIO) - It's a growing problem.

Parents are calling ridesharing services Uber and Lyft to pick up and drop off their kids.

Drivers have had enough and are refusing rides.

Brian Dixon drives for Uber and Lyft in Canton.

"I recently had a customer trying to get a ride for four young kids at 2:30 a.m. on a Saturday night," Dixon said.

He showed up at the Waffle House and found out the woman who requested the ride didn't even know the boys— who were about 12 to 14 years old.

Dixon canceled the ride.

"I was really concerned, I told the woman who got a ride for them to contact police to make sure they got home," he said.

It's against Uber's policy for anyone under 18 to ride without an adult.

Dixon says most of the time it's parents requesting a ride for them.

"A parent will call me, and say 'you're picking up my niece or daughter' and I'm just like I can't do that," he said.

Uber driver Matt Roth has experienced the same thing.

"I've had parents request rides for babysitters, daycare, middle school and high school," he said.

Roth says they don't know the kids are taking the ride on their own until they show up.

He's had to call parents to cancel and then wait until the parents come so the children are not left alone.

Roth says some other bad cases include when a parent shows up with a baby or toddler, and doesn't bring a car seat.

He says he cancels those rides too.

So what can drivers do? Under Uber's policy, it says they should report situations like this. The company says if someone lets children use the app, or uses it to call a solo ride for a child, they can lose access to the service.

Also, under Uber's terms, drivers can request a rider's ID if they look underage. If they are, they must refuse the ride.

"I just can't believe some parents rely on Uber to pick kids up. Because what if it's not the Uber they requested?" Dixon said.

"I have three kids, 18, 17 and 16 and even at that age I wouldn't request an Uber for my kid," Roth said.

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