Miami: Uber driver was fined $250 for not speaking English

Miami, US: A non-English speaking Uber driver was fined $250 for not communicating in English. Carmen Hechavarria after dropping a passenger at Miami International Airport received a ticket for apparently breaking a county ordinance that says drivers of ride-hailing apps must “be able to communicate in the English language.”

As per to a report from the Miami-Dade County aviation department, she speaks Spanish, and the 54-year-old Hechavarria could not understand when an officer greeted her “good morning” on Sunday, reported DC.

The ordinance doesn’t specify drivers should speak the language but only communicate, said Javi Correoso, an Uber spokesman. The app allows people to understand one another who speak different languages.

Miami has the largest population of Cubans outside of Havana and is increasingly welcoming Venezuelan immigrants. Two out of three people in Miami-Dade County speak Spanish at home, according to the census reports. The county declared itself bilingual nearly 45 years ago after becoming home to many Cuban exiles fleeing Fidel Castro’s regime.

The local ordinance mandating drivers should be able to communicate in English went into effect last year. But on July 1, it will be replaced by a state law that doesn’t have the language requirement passed by the Florida legislature earlier this year to avoid local governments from regulating ride-sharing companies.

Mike Hernandez, spokesman for the mayor of Miami-Dade said: “There is a strong possibility that this administrative fine can be waived.”