MP Rails Against Icelanders Offering Rides On Social Media - The Reykjavik Grapevine

MP Rails Against Icelanders Offering Rides On Social Media

Published March 10, 2016

Photo by
Art Bicnick

An Independence Party MP has called taxi drivers “a servant of the people”, and wants police to crack down on freelance drivers.

Vísir reports that Ásmundur Friðriksson addressed parliament today on the subject of Skutlarar, a Facebook group wherein Icelanders ask for and offer rides, sometimes in exchange for money.

As far as Ásmundur is concerned, this is a very serious matter requiring immediate police intervention.

“For as long as I can remember, taxi drivers have been the most necessary servants of the people,” he told parliament. “They are well known to the public and, to my mind, a part of the fine public transportation in this country. Now they are being pursued by illegal activities in this country.”

While adding that he realises the police are understaffed, he stressed that police need to “do something about this issue”.

As reported, while police are relatively powerless to put a stop to Skutlarar, they have been monitoring the activities of the Facebook group. Further, 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.

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