There have been a handful of instances in the news where drivers have been getting caught transporting unaccompanied minors. A while back, a kid took an uber over 300 miles from South Carolina to Georgia and in another situation a minor called a ride intending to commit suicide. While cases this extreme are rare, the problems with unaccompanied minors are not. One problem that drivers in Grand Rapids often notice is minors during the morning commute. It is exceedingly common for parents here to call a ride for their children, without the intent of accompanying them to school. It truly amazes us at GR Rideshare that parents are this irresponsible; putting your child in the car with a stranger is amazingly stupid.
The most frustrating part of this interaction is when you tell a parent, “no” and they say, “well the driver yesterday did it”. There is no reasoning with parents after other drivers have broken the rules, it always ends negatively. Either driver time is wasted, or parents get agitated and loud with us. Regardless of how people react, either parents or minor passengers, as a driver it is your responsibility to turn these rides down every time.
Uber makes it clear in their TOS that transporting anyone under the age of 18 without another 18+ adult in the car is a violation of their agreement. While many drivers claim it is not their responsibility to verify age, it is. You are the one on the hook for deactivation, or worse, if you are caught transporting a minor. One understandable frustration many of us have is that Uber does not do anything to prevent minors from hailing rides. Uber does not verify the age of account owners or ban accounts of parents who call rides for their kids. Even if they did ban accounts, Uber would have to have a system in place to keep people from just making new accounts.
At the end of the day, it is, and always will be, on the driver to act responsibility. Follow the rules, suck it up, and wait your five and drive EVERY single time an unaccompanied minor shows up. Don’t put yourself on the line and face the negative consequences of taking a minor. Uber won’t be on your side.