We’ve all heard horror stories of Lyft and Uber drivers sexually assaulting and committing other crimes against passengers. One Uber driver was arrested last week for trying to rob a passenger’s home after dropping him off at the airport.
Now Lyft will require continuous background checks to tackle issues with sketchy drivers, according to Engadget. The company previously ran annual background checks on its active drivers, but it will now conduct daily scans to ensure the safety of its riders.
A CNN report from last year found that 103 Uber drivers and 18 Lyft drivers were accused of sexual assaults. Four of the Lyft drivers have been convicted; however, more stories of passengers being put in uncomfortable situations have surfaced.
A recent Twitter thread by actor and comedian Anna Gillcrist highlights some keys issues faced when reporting inappropriate behavior by drivers to Lyft.
Last night I took a @lyft home from my friends bachelorette. It was a line, so there were two people in the back seat when I got in. Once they were dropped off, the driver immediately leaned over to me and asks “do you have a boyfriend?”. I paused, and didn’t respond.
— anna gillcrist (@AnnaGillcrist) April 7, 2019
Gillcrist like many other passengers who have been in her situation feel that Lyft’s response to reports shows little care.
“I want more than a stupid $5 credit. Your driver put me in a scenario in which I thought I might be kidnapped, raped, or even killed,” Gillcrist said in her tweets. “That pathetic attempt to mask a serious issue is insulting to me and women everywhere who have to deal with this shit on a regular basis.”
Although their response to the incident was lacking, Lyft is attempting more preventative measures with its continuous background checks.
The background checks prohibit workers who have been convicted of violent crimes and sexual offenses. Uber has similar disqualifications for its drivers and started doing continuous background checks last year.
Lyft’s IPO is expected to attract more drivers to the platform and implementing continuous background checks will help filter out possible predators and violent criminals.