Getting a Ride and Getting a Fingerprint

Uber app

A decision by the California Public Utilities Commission has raised some questions.  It has to do with ride sharing services Uber and Lyft.

The commission decided last week that Uber and Lyft do not have to require their drivers to be fingerprinted as part of background checks and annual screenings.

The proposal to require the ride sharing companies to do include fingerprints Uber or Lyft drivers was being recommended by the taxi industry.

In many cities in California, including San Diego, L-A and San Francisco, taxi cab drivers are required to be fingerprinted and the spokesman for the taxicab and limousine association says the decision not to require Uber and Lyft drivers to be fingerprinted may come back to haunt California riders.

The decision by the CPUC comes just a few weeks after it was discovered that the man who ran down people with his truck on a bike path in New York City, killing eight of them, had driven for Uber.  That news prompted some calls for tougher background checks on ride sharing drivers.

And with a recent case in San Diego of an Uber driver sentenced on rape charges and now with the decision in California not to require fingerprinting for Uber and Lyft drivers, there are more calls for doing it.

But Uber and Lyft officials claimed that fingerprinting drivers would be burdensome and discriminatory against minorities

In rejecting the idea, the state commission said fingerprinting does not ensure more safety for riders, saying the current background checks and screenings are fine.

Maybe they should ask some Uber and Lyft riders and not just the companies.

(Photo credit Getty Images)



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