Transportation protest: employee criminal history checks, public safety most important
Last month in Los Angeles, hundreds of California taxi drivers came together at City Hall to protest ride-sharing companies for their presumed lack of employee criminal history and fingerprint background checks, among other things. The taxi drivers protested that ride-sharing app companies — such as Lyft, Uber and Sidecar — have fewer regulations and safety provisions than taxicab companies, and that the public would be safer utilizing traditional taxi services. The taxi drivers also claimed that cab companies provide full insurance on all its drivers and vehicles. After the protest, Uber said in a statement that they already carry $1 million in commercial insurance policies on all its vehicles — as do Sidecar and Lyft — on top of the insurance policies that the individual drivers carry. Uber also says that it conducts county, state and federal employee criminal history checks on all its drivers and contractors. Uber recently imposed a “safe ride” fee to put toward additional background checks and security after some allegations were brought against the company, most recently that one of its drivers was arrested for allegedly kidnapping a woman. However, taxi companies are not immune to safety problems related to its drivers. Just months ago, it was discovered in court that Yellow Cab did not drug test or screen every contractor in its employ for an employee criminal history. If both groups agree that public safety is the highest priority, what should cab and ride-share companies do to protect the public as best as possible?
- Conduct employee criminal history checks via a certified background screening company.
- Ensure the checks cover county, state and federal records to prevent felony convictions from other states going undetected.
- Fingerprint background checks never hurt when it comes to making sure your employees have clean records.
- Require all drivers and contractors to pass regular, random drug tests to ensure driver sobriety.
- Make sure the company’s insurance plan covers the driver, vehicle and any passengers, in case of accident. Do not rely on a driver’s personal vehicle insurance.
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