Traffic Stop: Miami Police cracking down on Uber and Lyft drivers stopping on busy streets

(WSVN) - Ride-sharing can be really convenient for the passenger, but not for other drivers because one thing Uber and Lyft drivers are doing is adding to the congestion on already clogged South Florida roadways. 7’s Brian Entin has our special report “Traffic Stop.”

If you frequent any of the busiest parts of South Florida, you’ll see them: ride-sharing drivers who stop in the street and don’t move.

Guillermo Briceno, frustrated driver: “That is actually one of the worst things for traffic over here in Miami.”

Near Brickell, an Uber driver just sits in the road.

We saw the same thing happen on Miami Beach: flashers on, and the Uber stopped.

Mari Rodriguez, frustrated driver: “It creates the traffic, so I definitely have to drive around it very often.”

Uber and Lyft drivers can be found blocking traffic on busy streets while they wait for passengers to get in and out of their cars.

Daniel Johnson, frustrated driver: I don’t appreciate how they just get out and just hop out or hop in and take no account for people around them.”

It’s a problem all over, but Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood could be the worst.

Commander Dan Kerr, Miami Police: “If a car stops on Second Avenue in Wynwood, it can back it up for a block and a half.”

We rode with Miami Police Commander Dan Kerr in his Wynwood-style, graffiti-painted squad car.

Within just a few minutes, we saw Uber and Lyft drivers blocking traffic.

Commander Dan Kerr (talking to driver): “Do you know why the police stopped you today?”

Driver: “No.”

Commander Dan Kerr: “OK. You dropped the passenger off in the roadway.”

It happened again and again, and before long, Wynwood’s main drag was backed up.

Commander Dan Kerr (talking to driver): “The bigger reason is the safety issue. You got kids getting out, and sometimes they get out on your side. You’ve probably seen it where they just pop out, and then I have a cross lane of traffic coming. I worry about somebody getting hit.”

Even if passengers want to get out on main roads, police said the drivers should refuse and pull onto a side street.

Javi Correoso, Uber spokesperson: “We also communicate with our driver partners, asking them to follow these rules and regulations.”

Uber said one solution to the problem is having designated drop-off and pick-up locations in busy areas like Wynwood. That means Uber and Lyft drivers would only be allowed to stop in specific locations, but the city would have to get rid of some off-street parking to make room for that.

Javi Correoso: “I think it could potentially work in South Florida. The number one thing is working with cities to understand the data of specifically where riders are requesting to be dropped off so that space can be repurposed.”

For now, Miami Police said they are giving Uber and Lyft drivers a friendly warning to pull off before they drop off.

Commander Dan Kerr (talking to driver): “Do you know you are not supposed to stop when you drop them off in the street?”

Soon, the warning period will end, and police said the drivers will be slapped with a $179 ticket for obstructing traffic.

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