Uber Gets Stricter About Background Checks for Drivers

Apr 12, 2018

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Uber announced Thursday that US drivers will now be required to undergo annual criminal background checks. The ride-share company will also hire an unidentified company to monitor Uber driver records against a continuously updated criminal arrest database.

“In the past, Uber conducted background check reruns in jurisdictions where required,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement on the company’s website. “Going forward, we’ll proactively rerun criminal and motor vehicle checks each year, regardless of whether there is a legal obligation to do so.”

Since 2009, Uber has consistently attracted complaints about drivers accosting passengers, including a number of reports filed for sexual assault. In 2017, the state of Colorado fined the company $8.9 million for allowing nearly 60 people with records of serious criminal or motor vehicle offenses, including drunk driving, to drive for Uber.

Thursday’s announcement is the latest in a series of actions that Uber has undertaken in an effort to course-correct past wrongs.

“The first thing that we want to do is really change Uber’s substance, and the image may follow,” Khosrowshahi told the Associated Press. “The announcements that we’re making are just a step along the way of making Uber fundamentally safer for drivers and riders.”

Uber also added several new safety features within the app, located within the “Safety Center” section on the sidebar of the app. Included in the section, you’ll find that:

  • Passengers can now call 911 directly from within the app in case of an emergency
  • Riders can share their location with up to five friends or family members for additional transparency

Uber operates more than 15 million trips each day worldwide, and the new safety features will be pushed to a broader global market if the US pilot goes well.

Featured image by Vladimir Proskurovskiy/Unsplash.

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