Should Uber and Lyft Drivers Be Fingerprinted?

R ide sharing services have been increasing in popularity over recent years due to their technology, convenience and reasonable fares — but at a number of airports, drivers are still not permitted to pick up passengers; and they are hoping that changes.

Should Uber and Lyft Drivers Be Fingerprinted?

Officials at the international airport which serves the greater metropolitan Atlanta area wants drivers of ride sharing services — such as Uber and Lyft — to be fingerprinted as a requirement before being permitted to pick up passengers at the airport, according to this article written by Aungelique Proctor of WAGA-TV Fox 5 News in Atlanta.

The explosions by terrorists at Brussels Airport on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 is cited as one of the reasons for this requirement, which appears to not be negotiable.

Almost 100 drivers conveyed upon City Hall in Atlanta earlier today to protest that requirement, as they allege that the background checks for ride sharing services — which do not include fingerprinting — are already stringent.

The airport could also require all transportation companies to operate vehicles which are a maximum age of seven years old — possibly to be in effect as soon as next year.

Officials and politicians at other airports also are seeking drivers of ride sharing services to be fingerprinted before picking up passengers — such as Eric Garcetti, who is the mayor of Los Angeles, where taxi cab drivers already are fingerprinted prior to being able to pick up passengers at airports such as Los Angeles International Airport — according to this article written by Bryan Goebel of KQED Channel 9 News in the San Francisco Bay Area. That request was reportedly denied.

Miami and Dade County is another jurisdiction where drivers of ride sharing services face a battle over the requirement of being fingerprinted — as well Charlotte, Denver, Memphis and Salt Lake City.

Additional Reason for Fingerprinting Requirement

District attorneys of both San Francisco and Los Angeles “have accused Uber of failing to uncover serious crimes on the records of some drivers allowed to operate in the two cities”, according to this article written by Tess Townsend of Inc. “The attorneys said they discovered 25 drivers in the two cities whose criminal records had gone undetected, and at least some records included felonies. Notably, one of the drivers whose criminal record went undetected was a convicted murderer who spent 26 years behind bars.”

No one knows as of yet what set off the deadly shooting spree of which Jason Brian Dalton — who is 45 years old and supposedly had no criminal history — was charged with murder after a deadly shooting spree where he allegedly killed six people and injured two more people between picking up riders, taking fares, and dropping them off. The shootings of the random victims occurred during a period of nearly five hours.

Summary

As originally reported by Jennifer Moody of The Jetsetter’s Homestead, Uber drivers could earn as little as $1.19 per hour — earned from 15 rides during a shift of eight hours — so being a driver of a ride sharing service does not exactly bring promises of ridiculous wealth; and one more significant regulation is something which drivers simply do not want.

Just yesterday afternoon, a friend of mine was singing the praises to me of the ride sharing service offers by Uber; but lamented that he cannot use it at the airport which he uses most.

Drivers of ride sharing services should at least be subject to the same regulations by which taxi cab and limousine drivers similarly must abide — and for picking up all passengers and not just those at airports…

…but regulations should also be reasonable — without sacrificing the safety of people who patronize ride sharing services and other modes of ground transportation.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

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