By Saeed Villanueva |Staff Writer|
New California law will force all Uber and Lyft drivers to undergo criminal background checks.
On September 28 California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that will require all Uber and Lyft drivers or any other transportation network company, to do complete background checks on drivers according to the LA Times.
As of today the law only requires background checks to cover the past seven years for any driver.
According to the LA Times, the law will prohibit people who are registered sex offenders, have any violent felonies and anybody who has had a DUI within the past seven years.
Stories of sexual assaults, harassment, rape and battery have all been problems in the past for these companies.
Back in 2014, they were sued for misinforming passengers about safety and background checks.
Government officials were able to uncover 25 drivers who previously had various charges of assault, murder, sexual offenses and child abuse. Lyft settled with the state for $500,000 and Uber for $25 million this past April, according to cnet.com.
According to The Wall Street Journal, companies who fail to conduct a full background check could be fined a minimum of $1,000 and a maximum of $5,000 per driver.
Many people are already very pleased with this new bill; however, some people feel both companies should have already had a policy in place to begin with and the state shouldn’t of had to step in and create a bill.
“I feel Uber should’ve done something themselves, but it is good that the state stepped in and did something about it,” said student Amber Sima.
Although, most students have never had a problem while using these transportation companies, students do think they will feel more safe with this new law.
“I’ve never had any problems, but it’ll make things even more comfortable when I use it,” said Sima.
Many college students who use these two transportation companies often use the service when they are out with a group of people and hardly ever use them when they are alone.
“I’ve only used Uber with friends never by myself, I don’t think I would feel as safe if I was alone,” said student Danielle Brooks.
Students don’t feel this bill is too intrusive and believe the safer the better.
“I don’t think its too intrusive, it makes things more safe and less sketchy,” said Brooks.
Uber and Lyft have expressed their feelings on the new bill.
“We appreciate the combined efforts of Governor Brown and the legislature to create an environment that allows TNCs like Lyft to grow and thrive in California,” Lyft said in a statement to FOX40.com.
Students who live on and off campus tend to look to use these combined $2.3 billion transportation net companies on a regular basis, especially on the weekends.
It is a way that they can reassure that they do not get in trouble with the law, though they should be able to feel safe while riding with Uber or Lyft.
“It’s not going to get rid of all the problems, but I think it’s a good idea it will keep some of the bad people away,” said student Emily Martin.