UPDATE: Sgt. Belinda Nettles of Los Angeles World Airports police says there is no crackdown, per se. Instead, she says any tickets given out today are part of regular enforcement from the airport police commercial enforcement unit. “We don’t have anything going on, according to what they are telling me,” she said “There is no special details. It is just regular enforcement.”
As for why airport police are citing drivers at all, Nettles referred to an earlier statement given to me by airport police: “Airport Police will continue to enforce laws, rules, and regulations regarding vehicular operation on LAWA property, such as the Los Angeles Municipal Code, the California Vehicle Code, and the Airport Rules and Regulations.”
ORIGINAL STORY: I’ve received a tip that Los Angeles International Airport police are engaging in at least a one-day crackdown today (March 24) against drivers for UberX, Uber, Sidecar, Lyft and other similar ride-sharing services.
This comes from one of my best sources on the matter, a driver for one of the services who says he was ticketed because the VIN number on his car did not match the VIN number on his insurance policy. He said there were three airport police officers giving tickets today, and he sent me a photo of his ticket.
I am trying to learn what is going on from airport police. It is possible, of course, that it could be less of a crackdown and more of a situation where my source was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
But we know from previous stories that airport police have had an at times hostile relationship with ride-sharing drivers. Unlike elsewhere in Los Angeles, where the companies tend to operate freely, the airport has made it difficult for ride-sharing drivers. This is for a couple of reasons. For one, the airport can make its own rules. And second, the airport has its own police force, so there’s actually a mechanism for enforcement. (As a result of this enforcement, the most popular of the services, UberX, actually pulled out of LAX in January.)
In the past, airport police have only ticketed drivers making pick-ups at LAX. But this may be changing. I think drop-offs are also being affected. I will let you know as soon as I know more.
If you’re a passenger, the one thing to know is that you will not be in trouble and will not be cited. It might be uncomfortable if the driver gets pulled over — one women I spoke to was questioned by police — but you’ll be free to go soon enough.
If you know anything more about what is happening today, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .