Police Crack Down On RideShare Drivers For Public Safety
According to authorities numerous Uber and Lyft drivers were driving people around despite the fact that they had offenses ranging from simple traffic violations all the way to criminal records.
The Department of Transportation has suspended or revoked the permits for 168 ride-share drivers since 2015 including 2 Lyft drivers who were convicted felons, one convicted of sexual assault and the other for assault with intent to murder.
According to director of communications, John Brady said that these drivers were uncovered after authorities started doing a system of “random checks.”
Brady said that “ For 80 people a month, we do the full background check, we do criminal history and if the person is on the sex offender list”. They also conduct a series of random field checks using “secret shoppers and uniformed personnel” who check the safety of the vehicles and more.
He continued by saying that “We want these consumers to be safe, in terms of physical safety and the mechanical safety of the cars as well as the drivers, so we would like Uber and Lyft to do everything that they can to make sure that that takes place. We’re still going to continue to do our own checks, we found it a good backup system to enhance consumer protections.”
Even though only 2 out of the 168 drivers were felons, Brady added that “you can be disqualified for driving for a number of things, if you haven’t had a driver’s license continuously for the past year, if you have had a certain number of traffic violations, if you have been involved in any traffic crime, if you don’t have a valid license, it runs the gamut. We have tens of thousands of taxi, Uber and Lyft drivers and by and large, they are safe drivers and safe individuals but we’re committed to finding anyone who isn’t and make sure that they aren’t driving.”
A spokesperson for Uber stated that “Uber has a number of safety features in place for riders and drivers, including an emergency button with 911 integration technology in more than 250 cities across the US, including Portland. We will continue to put safety at the heart of our business.”