I’ve done a lot of research on this subject and written about it. There’s a genuine need to try to minimize the number of incidents.
Taking away safety procedures is the wrong thing to do. No, you cannot predict human behavior for sure. But the best predictor of what a person will do is what he has done in his life. So thorough background checks are good for society. They will cost us a little. If Uber and Lyft increase their ride monitoring capabilities through the smartphone technology, it could increase the safety Factor in this industry. But the background checks are still needed.
Another Factor you have at least twice probably three times the amount of uber and Lyft drivers as you do regular cab drivers in the United States. The last guesses I read were well over a million Uber and Lyft drivers and about 250,000 cab drivers. So if you have a lot more people driving with Uber and Lyft and going through a less thorough screening process… Then you will end up with a quite larger number of sexual predators who have gotten behind the wheel of an Uber or Lyft driver car.
I read maybe a hundred articles on this issue. I’m a former yellow cab driver who monitored Uber and Lyft takeover of the cab industry. I now Drive Uber and Lyft. My informed guess is that there have been quite a few more incidents against the passengers by The Uber and Lyft drivers than the regular taxi cab drivers in America in the same amount of time. It does not make sense to reduce regulations or procedures that help to minimize this issue. I am willing to pay my $40 a year to get a nationwide FBI conducted a fingerprint background check as regular cabs do. Uber does a check so does Lyft, but they are not as thorough. Incidents and cases come in so cities must do something. They may get a little greedy, but the need is there something has to be done. Both sizes use specious arguments to Discount the other side.
If Uber and Lyft use the smartphone technology to monitor all rides much more closely that would be a wonderful Improvement in the safety Factor for all concerned. How about this? I’m willing to pay the 40 bucks a year for the background check. Will Uber and Lyft be willing to pay for the cameras and security people to monitor them? That is the limiting factor for them.
I say let’s all do a little something that can and does reduce or minimize these kinds of attacks.
In my investigation of this issue, I spoke to an individual with a local police department who handled sexual complaints by passengers of taxis and Uber and Lyft. He said there were more complaints against Uber and Lyft as a whole but many of these complaints never were formed into an official charge. And many of the charges were dropped after the victim would not cooperate. Uber especially had quite a few reports that they were exercising damage control on all rape and newsworthy incidents. Included in that was evidence Uber suppressed the incident immediately. Sometimes agreeing to a settlement with the passenger so that it never goes to court or makes the news. If you have a lot more drivers in your group, you’re probably going to have a lot more incidents. The key is what percentage of Rideshare drivers harass customers versus the percentage of cab drivers.
Safety regulations and safety procedures and background checks and security measures are all helpful in minimizing rape and sexual harassment incidents. If the smartphone technology monitoring capabilities were used to the full, it would be a big Improvement in reducing the number of these incidents by drivers and passengers
My conclusion at this time is… an Uber or Lyft customer has a slightly increased percentage of a chance to be attacked or assaulted or harassed by the driver versus the driver of the regular taxi cab.
As a whole, the Uber and Lyft drivers are nicer and more pleasing to the customers. This gave the customer the impression that Rideshare drivers we’re Simply Better People and less likely to commit bad crimes.
And… The regular taxi cab drivers were also often rude crotchety Penitentiary type people in big cities in the United States.
The crucial factor that I think was overlooked was you had an increased chance that Uber and Lyft had predatory individuals slip into the driver’s seat because the background check they went through was not as thorough and there were a lot more drivers