On Saturday, voters in Austin, Texas, handed a stinging defeat to the major ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft. The corporations had drafted a ballot proposition exempting them from some of the public safety rules governing taxis in the city and then thrown an unprecedented amount of money and clout into trying to get their way. Their hubris, it seems, rubbed Austinites the wrong way.

Despite the validity of some of their concerns, Uber and Lyft’s approach casts a negative light on the ride-hailing industry — an industry with the potential to do much good, from decreasing drunk driving to increasing mobility and reducing car dependence, thereby helping the environment.

Proposition 1 would have repealed certain requirements the city council voted to impose in December, most notably that ride-hail drivers would have to pass fingerprinting background checks, and that ride-hail cars would not be allowed to stop in traffic to pick up and drop off passengers. Taxi drivers in the city are already bound by these same rules, though with some important caveats. Prop. 1 lost, 56 to 44 percent.