Poll: Do Uber and Lyft need stricter background checks when vetting drivers?

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Today, a report surfaced that over 8,000 Lyft and Uber drivers in Massachusetts failed a background check, preventing them from qualification.

In November, the ride-sharing companies agreed to let the state run its own background checks as part of a deal that would let Lyft and Uber drivers service Massachusetts’ Logan Airport.

After 70,000 applied for the checks, results of the first screening were announced Wednesday, with over 10% of drivers not passing the background check.

Of course, there have been past reports of violent crimes from Uber drivers in the past, such as the 2016 Kalamazoo shootings.

However, these numbers are alarming for companies that were conducting their own background checks.

According to DMV.org, becoming an Uber driver requires a background check in which the company checks for:

  • A minimum age requirement of 21 years old.
  • Minimum 3 years driving experience.
  • Car insurance under your name.
    • Insurance must also be in the same state you’ll be driving in and meet that state’s minimum requirements.
  • A Social Security number.
  • Submission to a background check, which will look for:
    • DUIs.
    • History of operating a vehicle without insurance.
    • Suspended licenses.
    • Accidents.
    • Reckless driving charges.
    • Criminal history.

However, despite the company’s self-conducted background checks, over 8,000 “red-flagged” drivers made it through the system.

In November of 2016, Governor Tom Wolf signed a law that legalized ride-sharing statewide, which also established criminal background checks for drivers.

It is not clear how in depth these background checks are, but they are a law in Pennsylvania.

Our question is, do Uber and Lyft need stricter background checks when vetting drivers?

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