From Iceland — Police Can Do Little To Stop "Skutlarar"

Police Can Do Little To Stop “Skutlarar”

Published May 21, 2015

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Brilliantwiki/Wikimedia Commons

There is not much the police can do to stop people from offering to give other people rides in exchange for cash.

There are at least two groups on Facebook called “Skutlarar” (roughly translated as “those who give people a ride somewhere”), wherein Icelanders either ask someone to drive them somewhere, or offer to give people a ride somewhere, usually in exchange for money. Arrangements are sometimes made in private messages, but often they are made publicly. However, Icelandic law is strict when it comes to having a license to drive people places for pay.

Despite this, RÚV reports, there is little the police can do about the groups until the Prosecution Division delivers a ruling on the matter, which is still pending. For now, police are powerless because while the law does grant the power to strip professional drivers of their operating license for misusing it, a person cannot be stripped of an operational license if they do not have one in the first place.

A bill from the Ministry of the Interior hopes to change that, adding penalties for giving people rides for money without an operating license. Those penalties include fines from 10,000 ISK up to 5 million. The bill has yet to be made into law, though, so for now, skutlarar can skutla with impunity.

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