Is Uber’s driver screening process effective?
In the wake of highly publicized incidents involving Uber drivers who physically, verbally or sexually assaulted their passengers, the ride-sharing company is sending out emails touting its background screening process.
According to the company, which operates in many cities around the world; “Everyone who drives with Uber is screened before their first trip, and on an ongoing basis.”
That screening, says Uber, includes a multi-step safety screen that checks for issues including, but not limited to, driving violations, impaired driving, and violent crime. Information about criminal offenses is obtained “from a number of data sources.”
Uber says that if an offense involving an active driver is identified, a review process will be conducted to determine whether the individual is still eligible to drive with Uber.
Other safety measures:
- Drivers must pass an annual check to continue accessing the app
- Drivers are periodically asked to take a photograph of themselves, which is matched against their on-file identification to help make sure the right driver is behind the wheel.
Nonetheless, an article in The Daily Beast lists a number of incidents involving drivers who apparently passed background checks:
- Driver Daveea Whitmire was charged in June 2014 with a misdemeanor battery count after punching a passenger and elbowing a passenger. Whitmire had multiple drug-related felony convictions and was at the time of the assault on probation for a separate battery charge.
- An Uber driver in Washington, D.C. spit in the face of a passenger, then slapped him in a 2013 incident.
- In October 2014, a woman said an Uber driver drove her far off her route to an abandoned lot, then held her captive.
Read more in The Daily Beast.