Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is demanding Uber and Lyft improve how they respond to sexual assault. He is asking the companies to disclose how they evaluate sexual assault complaints and how they audit the companies they used to conduct their drivers’ background checks.
This is not the first time Senator Blumenthal has called the rideshare companies out on how they deal with sexual assault. According to the New York Times, there were over 3,000 rideshare sexual assaults reported in 2018. Blumenthal believes those numbers need to decrease significantly and the only way to do that is to ramp up safety procedures.
After an article was released about Uber’s Special Investigations Unit in September 2019, Blumenthal asked for more information about their driver review policies. According to the report, Uber’s response to alleged incidents of sexual assault and misconduct was inadequate. Problems regarding the company’s lack of reporting incidents to law enforcement was also addressed.
In October 2019, the senator asked Uber and Lyft to explain how they intended to keep passengers safe in light of the repeated allegations against drivers. In response, Uber announced a series of safety updates, including passengers being able to text 911 directly from the app and automatically transmit details about their location to emergency responders. While this was a start, Blumenthal argued that they were still doing nothing to address the fundamental problems related to background checks and preventing predatory drivers from jumping to a different rideshare company.
The senator came back in November 2019, informing the public of the ambiguous answers he received from Uber and Lyft regarding their safety measures. At that time, he called on both companies to institute fingerprint background checks for drivers. He also suggested both companies exchange data about driver dismissals with each other, in an attempt to make the entire rideshare system safer.
Uber and Lyft have been blocking requests for safety information as of January 2020. Blumenthal could ask for a congressional hearing if they continue to ignore the requests.
If you’ve been hurt as a result of a rideshare driver’s negligence, you have the right to take legal action. The attorneys from the Rideshare Law Group represent clients on a national basis. To learn more about your options and to find out about filing a claim against the driver or company, schedule a meeting with us today.