Uber fined $8.9 million for Colorado background checks

Last month, Colorado regulators fined Uber $8.9 million for allowing 57 drivers with criminal or motor vehicle offenses onto its network.

“We have determined that Uber had background check information that should have disqualified these drivers under the law, but they were allowed to drive anyway,” Doug Dean, director of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, CPUC, said in a statement. “These actions put the safety of passengers in extreme jeopardy.”

Under Colorado law, a Transportation Network Company (TNC) must perform a criminal history record check and obtain and review a driving history report prior to allowing a person to act as a driver for the company.

“PUC staff was able to find felony convictions that the company’s background checks failed to find, demonstrating that the company’s background checks are inadequate,” Dean said. “In other cases, we could not confirm criminal background checks were even conducted by Uber.”

According to the Denver Post, the PUC ran a similar check on Lyft drivers and found no such violations.

“We recently discovered a process error that was inconsistent with Colorado’s ridesharing regulations and proactively notified the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). This error affected a small number of drivers and we immediately took corrective action. Per Uber safety policies and Colorado state regulations, drivers with access to the Uber app must undergo a nationally accredited third-party background screening. We will continue to work closely with the CPUC to enable access to safe, reliable transportation options for all Coloradans” Uber said in a statement provided by Stephanie Sedlak, a spokeswoman.

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