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Uber gets green light in Virginia, battling $2 million “inappropriate behavior” lawsuit

Metro Brief

On July 13, 2015
Terry McAuliffe

Uber gets green light in Virginia, battling $2 million “inappropriate behavior” lawsuit
Credit: Edward Kimmel/Creative Commons

ROCKVILLE, Md. – Uber and Lyft officially became legal last week in Virginia, even as a Virginia Beach family sues one of the companies for sexual assault against a minor.

The Transportation Network Company law, signed in February by Gov. Terry McAuliffe outlines regulations on vehicle registration and identification, yet fails to incorporate a comprehensive background check involving fingerprinting for its drivers.

The ‘Who’s Driving You?’ campaign has repeatedly warned that Uber’s lax background checks are creating opportunistic conditions for dangerous and unprofessional drivers. Uber’s negligent background check failed to flag the Virginia Beach Uber driver’s infraction records, which included driving under the influence, speeding, reckless driving and failure to yield when entering a highway.

The campaign calls for government officials to require Uber, Lyft and other Transportation Company Networks to take security seriously by fingerprinting their drivers – an added cost that Uber and Lyft have steadfastly refused. In the last year, the number of sexual assault, rape and kidnapping cases by Uber and Lyft riders have steadily been on the rise.

“This isn’t the first incident of an Uber driver harming a passenger and, unfortunately, it certainly won’t be the last,” said Rebecca Walls, spokesperson for the Who’s Driving You? campaign. “We see more and more of these cases all across the country, and the common denominator is that these cases happen in jurisdictions that aren’t requiring Uber to fingerprint their drivers.”

Just this montth, a study from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice found that fingerprint-based criminal background checks are 43 times more effective than the name-based checks currently used by Uber and Lyft. For more information, visit www.WhosDrivingYou.

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