Bendigo Police have joined with Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria to tackle the increasing number of people who are providing unregistered rideshare services.
The local highway patrol team intercepted 17 people last Friday and Saturday nights who were driving unauthorised vehicles in exchange for cash.
"We have been aware that there are these different social media platforms that people are using to offer and take on car rides for cash," Inspector Tim Cron said.
"There has been work on those platforms to see who was operating those sites. They were intercepted by police over the weekend and were spoken to by Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria."
There are multiple groups on sites like Facebook where people in Bendigo can offer up lifts in exchange for cash.
Despite the accessibility of rideshare services like Uber in the region, Inspector Cron said people were continuing to look for other alternatives.
"There are various issues that arise when the vehicles are not registered with the CPVV," Inspector Cron said.
"It means that they are not covered by insurance for that rideshare purpose, so if they are in an accident, it causes problems not only for the drivers but also the people in the other car.
"But the main thing for us is that our intelligence shows in 2018, 18 per cent of fatal collisions across the state happened in unauthorised vehicles. That is a big concern."
The different social media platforms have been on the radar of police for a while, Inspector Cron said.
"We have had complaints from the public about these pages," he said. "It is something that we have been aware of.
"They are not offences that police can take action on, which is why we have teamed up with the CPVV. While we can't give a penalty, the other agency can take action."
The unregistered vehicles should also be a concern for passengers, Inspector Cron said.
"The passengers have to be aware there are no laws for those vehicles and drivers because the cars are not registered for that use," he said.
"For example, drivers do not need to have a blood alcohol reading of 0.00. Taxis and other rideshare vehicles need to have drivers with no alcohol in their system.
"So people could be getting into the cars without knowing what the driver has taken. It might be a cheap ride, but they are not trained to keep you safe."
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