After Orlando Sexual Assault and Kidnapping, Association ‘Again’ Calls on Uber and Lyft to Fingerprint Drivers

The Florida Taxicab Association (FTA) has called on Uber and Lyft, again, to immediately implement fingerprinting for drivers as an improved method to screen drivers.

A Lyft driver, who may also be an Uber driver was arrested in Orlando on charges of sexual battery and kidnapping a woman.

This is not the first time drivers for Uber or Lyft have sexually assaulted passengers. In fact another sexual assault by an Uber driver occurred in Orlando just a few months ago, and a growing list of incidents throughout the country has caused some cities and states to implement tougher screening measures for Uber and Lyft drivers. Many of the drivers accused of sexual assault had lengthy criminal records.

“Fingerprinting is the gold standard for background checks,” said Louie Minardi, President of the Florida Taxicab Association. “We also believe that the mere requirement of fingerprinting not only weeds out those who shouldn’t be driving in the first place, but also serves as a deterrent for future bad behavior.”

As if the growing trend of sexual assaults by Uber and Lyft drivers was not enough, an Uber driver in Palm Beach County was recently cited in an accident investigation for not having a valid driver’s license and no insurance.  The officer wrote that a check of the Uber driver “revealed her Florida driver’s license was suspended on May 15, 2014 and was still listed as suspended on the date of the accident. Additionally, an insurance check on the vehicle…determined the insurance was cancelled February 15, 2016.”

“Uber and Lyft are not new or innovative anymore,” said Roger Chapin, an FTA Board Member and Mears executive in Orlando. “It’s high time regulators required standard procedures for background checks and insurance verification for all Uber and Lyft drivers and forced compliance.”

“Uber says ‘trust us’ on background checks,” added Minardi. “Heck, they don’t even know if their own drivers have valid driver’s licenses and insurance! Give me a break!”