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Berlin has banned the use of the Uber taxi app on “safety grounds” because city officials believe that the technology firm does not do enough to protect passengers from unlicensed drivers.
The State Department of Civil and Regulatory Affairs in Berlin has issued an immediate prohibition notice to Uber’s German subsidiary to stop the use of Uber’s app which connects drivers with passengers by GPS technology.
The department said that the “protection of the passenger is a priority” and Uber did not offer sufficient insurance coverage for either passengers or drivers.
It added that if this prohibition order was ignored, Uber could face a €25,000 fine for each violation.
San Francisco-based Uber has the right to appeal against the order as the injunction was “not yet final”.
Uber plans to appeal against the decision and said that Berlin authorities were “seeking to limit consumer choice for all the wrong reasons”.
Black cab drivers in London brought the city to a standstill for a day in June in protest at Uber’s app, which they claim is unlawful because it effectively acts as a taximeter, which private vehicles are not allowed to use. The case is set to be heard in the high court.