Meet Christopher David: Portsmouth’s Rogue Uber Driver
I went over to talk to Christopher David at his house in Dover to learn more about the #FreeUber movement and his recent legal trouble.
It is no secret that many on the New Hampshire Seacoast, including myself, want to have Uber operating in Portsmouth. The founder of FreeUber featured in the video above went rogue for the cause.
Everything was fine with Uber until Portsmouth passed an ordinance requiring specific insurance and background checks, even though these were already covered by the ride-sharing service. This means that Uber cannot legally operate in the City of Portsmouth until the matter gets resolved.
Christopher David, a Dover resident, works as a part-time Uber driver. When the ordinance was passed he decided to take on the issue by starting the FreeUber.org and continuing to pick up passengers.
Unsurprisingly, local taxi companies have been quite vigilant in "helping" police enforce the ordinance. They follow Uber drivers, call the police on them and prevent the drivers from picking up passengers. So nice to see them have this sudden urge to become involved in community law enforcement.
Christopher caught just this kind of helpful police work while driving around Portsmouth last month. The audio from this incident is included in the video below (with some NSFW language.)
This recording would soon become the cause for Christopher's arrest with accusations of "wiretapping" being thrown around. This is a felony charge that could carry a hefty prison sentence, although good luck with that in any reasonable court.
A New Hampshire grandmother also faces a fine for the crime of wanting to be an Uber driver.
He turned himself in and has a court date in a few months, but in the meantime Christopher is continuing to push to have Portsmouth dial back these harsh restrictions in the ordinance.
Obviously, I like that fact that Christopher is fighting to keep Uber in Portsmouth and want to see it continue. Taxi companies may not like the competition, but they need to get with the times and either evolve or enjoy the loss in business. The people want Uber because it is convenient, reasonably-priced and provides an overall better experience.
Whatever has to happen on either side to bring Uber back needs to happen soon. I really want to get to downtown and have some drinks without having to worry about getting a designated driver or settling for a "Crabbie Cabbie."