In April 2018, the transportation company Uber announced that it would be enhancing and enacting stringent background checks for its drivers. They are taking this measure to ensure that all drivers meet their high quality standards in an ongoing manner.
Getting Serious About Safety
In a recent blog post entitled “Getting Serious About Safety,” the CEO of Uber Dara Khosrowshahi said the company was committed to conducting stringent background checks for both driving record checks and criminal background screenings on millions of applicants since the business launch about nine years ago.
The company has plans to strengthen Uber background screening policies to have even more stringent background checks going forward:
Conducting Comprehensive Annual Driver Background Checks
While some state jurisdictions require annual background checks and motor vehicle report checks every year for Uber drivers, the company will now have more stringent background checks and be issuing them for every area of the country, regardless of the presence of a legal obligation.
Fast Notification of New Offenses
Uber will also enact technology that allows them to quickly see any new criminal offense committed by their drivers. These resources tap into existing data sources and send a notification when an offense is committed. For example, a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge would make them ineligible to drive.
New Driver Safety Center
Uber’s addition of a new Safety Center will allow customers to easily learn about current safety information and allow them to designate “Trusted Contacts” to share their trip details with during transit. The Uber company will also be modernizing their existing 911 communication system. Jeh Johnson, the former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, will become the new Chairman of Uber’s Safety Advisory Board.
Uber is known for efficiently connecting people who need a ride in urban areas with qualified drivers. Keeping people safe is a big priority for the company, and these measures to increase safety standards are a testament to this commitment.
In the blog post, CEO Khosrowshahi said that he and the company were fully committed to keeping safety at the heart of everything else they do. Increased scrutiny for drivers in transportation jobs has been a trend this year.
Some states were more specific and outspoken in calling for increased safety standards and more stringent background checks than others. For example, in late 2017, California began to require companies like Uber to make use of a professional background screening firm for all drivers.
Stringent Background Checks for Workers Increases Safety for Customers
In Colorado, the Uber company was issued a nearly $9 million penalty for not screening stringently enough. Apparently, the company had allowed some persons with motor vehicle and criminal offenses to drive for the company. There were even a few drivers without valid licenses. The new higher screening standards for drivers will prevent this from happening again.
Other companies and organizations are following suit. The NLA (National Limousine Association) is now requiring mandatory fingerprinting and drug screening. They were inspired to do so by a public service ad released by Uber raising awareness about sexual assaults in commissioned vehicles.
The message is that these assaults tend to happen in situations where the drivers weren’t properly screened. It’s a call to all employers to enact stringent background checks and an employment screening policy to ensure safe conditions for both workers and clients.