Ridesharing app Uber continues to make headlines around the world as it keeps on grappling with entrenched taxi businesses and the authorities.
This week, five Hong Kong drivers from the car-hailing service were prosecuted for failing to have the right insurance coverage, The South China Morning Post (SCMP)
The five drivers were each charged in February with one count of driving a vehicle for hire without a permit and one count of using a vehicle without third-party insurance between August 11 and 12 last year.
All five drivers – Chan Tsz-lun, Sunny Leung Hoi-shun, Lau Kwan-wing, Chan Kin-fung, and Luk Chun-pong – denied the charges.
Magistrate So Wai-tak said on April 28 that the court will first hear arguments on the constitutionality of Hong Kong’s Road Traffic Ordinance before the five Uber drivers are tried separately.
The court will hold a three-day preliminary argument from September 12 to 14, while the five drivers will stand trial between November 30 and December 13, according to the SCMP report.
Under the Road Traffic Ordinance, using a car for hire without a permit is a criminal offense that merits a fine of HK$5,000 or £440 and three months’ imprisonment for a first conviction.
Meanwhile, the Motor Vehicles Insurance Ordinance also penalizes driving without a third-party insurance, imposing a fine of HK$10,000 to offenders with 12 months’ imprisonment and suspension of their driving licence for 12 months to three years.