As Uber struggles to handle complaints in a large number of the a lot more than 250 cities where it operates, among the company’s biggest problems is its screening process for drivers. On Dec. 8, India’s home ministry advised the country’s states to ban unregistered car-service apps after an Uber passenger in Delhi accused her driver of rape. (Uber said it suspended the driver’s account and is dealing with investigators.) On Dec. 9 the district attorneys of LA and SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA filed a joint lawsuit accusing Uber of misleading passengers about its criminal background checks for drivers. The DAs’ suit asked for a ban on Uber and its own main competitor, Lyft, even though latter company has recently settled with prosecutors without disclosing terms.
On Dec. 17, Uber said it could test out polygraph tests along with other methods to screen drivers beyond your U.S. “Our responsibility would be to leverage every smart tool at our disposal to create the best standard safely we are able to,” the business said in a post. “We shall not shy from this.”
Uber has consistently lobbied against legislation that could require its drivers to submit to exactly the same licensing rules as taxi drivers. Some cities require fingerprinting and criminal record checks conducted by taxi commissions, physical and written exams, and a couple of other local requirements, lots of which carry fees the driver usually pays. In SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, applicants must definitely provide a 10-year record and demonstrate they will have the stamina to operate a vehicle for four hours per day. In L.A., taxi drivers must submit to random drug tests.
George Gascón, San Francisco’s DA, said at a press conference on Dec. 9 that the business must adopt fingerprint scanning along with other standard checks atlanta divorce attorneys city where it operates. “You aren’t utilizing an industry-leading background process if you’re not fingerprinting your drivers,” Gascón said. Uber wouldn’t discuss its policy on fingerprinting.
San Francisco became an early on flash point for Uber’s driver screenings last year, whenever a driver who had previously been convicted of reckless driving struck and killed a 6-year-old girl on New Year’s Eve. The driver was arrested on Dec. 8 and charged with vehicular manslaughter. Following the accident, Uber pledged to boost its screening process by cross-referencing criminal databases and the national sex offender registry, and much more regularly monitoring automobile records, among other activities.
But you can find limits from what Uber can perform, because companies can only just check workers’ fingerprints against government databases when necessary to by state law, says Robert McCrie, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Although fingerprints aren’t the only method to check on for open warrants, they’re probably the most reliable, he says. Government checks also execute a better job of verifying a driver’s identity and revealing past criminal activity committed under aliases.
In days gone by Uber has said its criminal background checks go faster than those conducted by taxi regulators. However the company has already established little trouble expanding in NY, where all of its drivers really needs a commercial driver’s license. Each was fingerprinted and contains paid for the application form, medical exams, training classes, along with other fees.
Forcing drivers to use for licenses with city taxi commissions could do a lot more than make Uber’s hiring processes better. It could be a show of good faith for an organization that regularly operates in jurisdictions where it’s unlicensed, insulating it somewhat from public criticism if among its drivers misbehaves.
Uber might be able to blow past its recent spate of terrible publicity. The business, now valued at about forty dollars$ 40 billion, announced on Dec. 4 that it had raised $ 1.2 billion from investors. And on Dec. 12 an individual familiar with the problem who wasn’t authorized to go over it said Uber can soon be prepared to receive just as much as $ 600 million from Chinese search giant Baidu to expand into Asia.