Uber charged with violating Danish law

Copenhagen Police have confirmed that the taxi industry's complaint against Uber has resulted in preliminary charges against the American company.

Uber charged with violating Danish law
Police have filed preliminary charges against Uber. KAI PFAFFENBACH/Scanpix
When the ridesharing service Uber announced its Copenhagen launch in November, a lobby group for the Danish taxi industry immediately filed a complaint with the police, the Danish Transport Authority and the Transport Ministry.
After investigating the complaint, Copenhagen Police has now officially charged the San Francisco-based company with violating Denmark’s taxi operation laws.
“We believe that they have violated the law and therefore we have charged them and that’s where the case stands at the moment,” Commissioner Bertel Hejlesen told Berlingske Business on Thursday. 
Copenhagen’s prosecuting authority will now look at merits of the preliminary charges against Uber and determine if there is enough to bring the case to trial. 
Uber has argued that it is not a taxi company but rather a ridesharing programme and therefore should not be held to the same requirements as others in the taxi business, which financial daily Børsen describes as one of the most thoroughly-regulated industries in Denmark. 
Uber has already led to confrontations in cities such as Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and Berlin and there have been reports of Uber drivers assaulting and raping customers in some cities. 
Just this week, Uber was forced to pull out of the US state of Kansas after state legislators passed a law enforcing tougher restrictions on Uber and similar services. 
Uber was launched in 2009 and is currently operating in 47 countries. In neighbouring Germany, the company has faced strong legal challenges and was banned both on the national level and in Berlin. The national ban has since been overturned

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Taxi drivers in Denmark to face language requirement under new law

Taxi drivers in Denmark will be required by law to speak Danish under an amendment to the country’s legislation.

Taxi drivers in Denmark to face language requirement under new law
Filephoto: Søren Bidstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

A parliamentary majority voted in favour of changing the Taxi Law (Taxiloven) to include a language requirement, the transport ministry confirmed in a statement.

Under new rules, documentation of Danish language skills will be required for entry onto the national taxi driver’s licensing course.

That could make it more expensive to acquire a taxi driver’s permit. According to the ministry, licensing is currently “underfunded”. “Price and fee levels must be adjusted,” the ministry wrote in the statement.

The law change was voted for by both left and right wing parties. As well as the government, the Social Liberal, Socialist People’s, Conservative, Liberal and Danish People’s parties backed it.

“I am pleased that we are now in agreement over a number of minor adjustments based on the evaluation of the taxi law that came before Christmas,” transport minister Benny Engelbrecht said in the statement.

“It is a completely reasonable demand that you should be able to conduct a conversation in Danish when you are driving a taxi, and we will now get better documentation for that.

“Additionally, we also agree that in light if the coronavirus situation, it is not appropriate to make major adjustments to the taxi law at this time,” the minister continued.

In addition to the language requirement, the parties approved an analysis of taxi services in rural areas.

The law change will come into effect in 2022.

READ ALSO: 100 drivers demonstrate in Copenhagen over Danish taxi laws