Los Angeles Times Building, downtown Los Angeles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Catching a cab can be challenging, costly, and sometimes an all-around bad experience if the driver is rude. For years, that was our only option. Getting a lift in a stranger’s car was, understandably, considered dangerous and out of the question—if we recall correctly, it even had a name: hitchhiking. Technology has brought us a long way, though, and now ride sharing services are so pervasive we’re often finding ourselves accidently hopping into the first Prius we see thinking it’s our Lyft driver. Unfortunately, despite assurances of thorough criminal background checks from these companies, their drivers’ records may not be as clean as they’ve led us to believe.
Ride Sharing Companies Under Fire for Misleading Customers
Authorities in San Francisco and Los Angeles are targeting ride sharing companies for “conducting business improperly,” specifically “misleading customers about how thoroughly criminal background and driving record checks are conducted,” reported the Los Angeles Times. In San Francisco, District Attorney George Gascon is ordering Sidecar to remove all claims about background checks from its website and app.
Incidents of Ride Sharing Service Driver Misconduct
Two recent incidents of ride sharing service driver misconduct support the allegations of California authorities that these companies are not conducting as thorough of criminal background checks as they claim. Last November, an Uber driver who was on probation for battery and narcotics charges assaulted a passenger in San Francisco’s Castro District. Then in June, an Uber driver was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping a passenger for the purpose of sexual assault in Los Angeles.
Until ride sharing companies improve their screening process for drivers, we may want to use these services with caution or not at all—even if they say they’ve made changes, how can we trust them given how they’ve mislead us in the past?
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