April 14, 2017
This week the news arrived that Massachusetts and Maryland have rejected thousands of already approved Uber and Lyft drivers.
51 applications from sex offenders. That’s how many Massachusetts found driving for Uber and Lyft. Here are the other reasons applications were rejected:
- 352 for criminal-history incidents related to “sex, abuse, and exploitation,”
- 958 for violent crimes,
- 152 for operating under the influence.
In a follow-up Boston Globe article on how other states may be considering more stringent background checks, Lyft spokesman, Adrian Durbin made this point: “It would be a mistake to prevent good and qualified drivers around the country from earning needed income as a result of one state’s rule-making.”
We wholeheartedly disagree.
Massachusetts recent findings offer incontrovertible, bulletproof data that law enforcement and governments should be background-checking Uber and Lyft drivers. The sampling was enormous: 70,789 applications. The reviewer—the state of Massachusetts—is unassailable.
In fact, we believe Massachusetts would have found more bad apples had law enforcement been able to use the gold standard of criminal background checks: fingerprints.
It would be the most reasonable move in the world for other states and cities to emulate Massachusetts supplemental background checks of Uber and Lyft drivers. And to further bolster the effectiveness of government checks by using fingerprinting.
Uber loves to hide data, produce questionable data, and diminish the value of data which is critical of its processes. But Uber and Lyft will be hard-pressed to deny the value of Massachusetts’ findings.
Besides, it’s not just one state.
Maryland’s supplemental background checks have rejected 2,850 applications for criminal offenses or driving-related issues.
If you multiply Massachusetts’ and Maryland’s rejected applications by the number of states allowing Uber and Lyft to conduct their own background checks, it begins to explain why our site lists 217 reported sexual assaults and harassments against Uber and Lyft drivers.