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Curfew at 6 p.m.: in Paris, the new fraud aboard taxis and VTC

2021-01-22T05:34:28.526Z

Many of them use taxis and VTCs to return home and get around after 6 p.m. without any exemption. They estimate that they have less



This is the first question they ask after closing the door.

"How often do you get checked?

“, Ask the passengers straight away, worried about being fined.

"It's very rare", always replies Philippe, the Uber driver, who is amused by this situation when we meet him on Tuesday evening, January 19, after having reserved a vehicle on the application.

It is past 9 p.m., the streets of Paris have already been emptied for three hours due to the curfew at 6 p.m., almost no pedestrian on the horizon.

READ ALSO>

Non-compliance with the curfew: "We are ready to go out even if it means taking a fine of 135 euros"


But on the road, the ballet of VTC and taxis catches the eye.

“Even if it is forbidden, people clearly go out without dispensation, especially young people, they tell us that they go to dinners with family, friends, small evenings.

As soon as they get into my car, I hear the bottles glinging in their bags, ”laughs Philippe, behind the wheel.

During the journey, many confide in them that they are fed up with being deprived of their social life, for almost a year now.

"We really feel that they have a big lack, they can no longer stay at home," he reports, adding that fraudsters do not risk going very far.

"Not our role" to verify the certificates

And if they prefer to take a VTC, it is because they consider that they are less likely to be checked than if they return on foot.

Not seen not caught!

Impossible to know how many of them are to escape discreetly, once night has fallen.

The drivers, they are in the exercise of their work, confirms us the Ministry of the Interior, and "only the passenger can be the object of a fine if he does not have authorization to circulate" .

But have they received instructions to limit these frauds on board?

"We can not verify the certificates, it is not our role," rebounds Didier Hogrel, president of the national taxi federation.

As for Uber, one of the spokespersons assures him: “As soon as the curfew was put in place, we encouraged our users to limit their trips to what was strictly necessary.

Several dedicated communications were sent to passengers and drivers to remind them of the rules in force between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

"

Curfew at 6 p.m.: in Paris, the police control

For a few weeks now, Philippe has been running small races from one district to another until around 11 p.m., against 2 a.m. before the epidemic.

"People are pretty reasonable, it's been a long time since I smelled beer in my car, we are even starting to miss our drunk friends", he laughs, while the absence of tourists and revelers of bars is felt on its turnover.

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Three hours later, around midnight, it's Céline

(the first name has been changed)

, mask on her nose, who comes to pick us up at the address given.

If she has only been a VTC driver since this summer and hears her colleagues bitching about the lack of customers, she is not complaining.

“Those who travel to work are in the minority.

There are a lot of eaters especially since December, I work all night and when I stop, it is not because there are no more customers but because I am tired ”.

Céline is even surprised: “How can people have so many parties?

“Between 8 pm and 2 am alone, she does a dozen groceries from 6 to 60 euros and transports customers of all ages.

The stress of containment

12:15 am She enters Place de la République.

“Look around,” she said, counting.

There, it is a driver, there that is another.

»Generally, his clients do not have a certificate, others have« discovered a passion for their grandmother to whom they bring medicines ».

They ticked the box “travel to assist vulnerable people”.

Celine bursts out laughing at so much imagination.

“The funny thing is every customer thinks they're the only one cheating,” she says, even though her car has never been checked by the police.

His phone beeps.

“Ah, I have another run, good evening.

"

Among those who circumvent the curfew, Marie, 24, explains to us that she only allows herself a weekly outing "mainly during the week when there is less chance of getting caught".

A few days ago, around midnight, when leaving a friend's house in the 1st arrondissement, she could not order an Uber at the bottom of the building because the street is pedestrian.

“I walked a bit on the boulevard and threw myself in a taxi, like that… I was 'under cover' (sheltered).”

When the curfew was set for 8 pm, she could at least go have a "little drink" with some friends when she left work, but since it was brought forward two hours, the frustration has prevailed.

"It's too early and as everyone thinks that we will be reconfigured in two weeks, we do not say anything to do, we take advantage, it's just a vital need!

»She exclaims.

READ ALSO>

Covid-19: the English variant raises fears of re-containment


But if she catches the virus, isn't Marie afraid of infecting her more fragile relatives?

It is precisely in closed environments, during meals that we become infected the most.

“No because I don't have any around me anymore, my grandparents are dead.

But it's true, she admits, that I don't know anyone who died of the Covid… ”.

His mother and his father-in-law, 48-year-old business leaders, who travel by taxi once every two weeks, believe that the virus only affects “the most vulnerable”.

And if they catch it, they say, "it's our responsibility."

“We forget the young and the active, for them, it's terrible.

We do not intend to have our life dictated by the government ”, proclaims Marc

(the first name has been changed)

, revolted.

Some panicked customers

Like them, Olivier

(the first name has been changed

), 30, recently settled in Bordeaux, will not stop his night trips until he has received a first fine of 135 euros.

If he travels in a VTC, it is because he has the impression that the curfew is riskier than confinement.

“We have no more excuses for being outside, we cannot say that we take our little daily stroll.

But each time he cheats, this bank employee feels a "little apprehension" and observes through the window if he does not see a police flashing light.

READ ALSO>

Covid-19: an advanced curfew at 6 p.m., is it effective?


Ilane, private driver in Paris, widens his eyes when he sees certain scenes of panicked customers.

“They hide in their hall of a building while I park and run at full speed to get in my car.

Last time someone told me, please, if we are arrested say you picked me up from my ailing mother, they are traumatized!

".

“Traumatized” but numerous.

Before the crisis, its turnover on Saturdays amounted to 200 to 300 euros against 150 to 200 currently.

While many do not yet know that VTCs continue to circulate after the curfew, "at the moment, things are starting again, people are slackening off more and more," recognizes Ilane.

And the trick is starting to become clear.

"

Source: leparis

All life articles on 2021-01-22

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