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New laws in Virginia are tightening security of ride sharing drivers

Discussion in 'Richmond, VA' started by Dreamer, Jul 4, 2015.

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  1. Dreamer

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    Staff Member

    Jan 19, 2015
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    A new law in Virginia requires Uber and Lyft drivers to be at least 21 years old and have valid drivers licenses. They will have to obtain special stickers that identify them as either in state or out-of-state drivers.

    The law also requires them to undergo criminal and sex offender background checks, but some critics say that is not enough.

    Robbie Werth, President of the Virginia Taxicab Association, says taxi drivers in Virginia and elsewhere must go through fingerprint checks, which turn up any criminal history. He says the background checks for the App-based services only check criminal history over the past seven years.

    Uber spokesperson Taylor Bennet says the Virginia law does require them to disqualify an applicant if he or she has ever committed a violent felony.

    Bennett stated, "Our background checks go back 7 years, the maximum allowable by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The bottom line is, Uber works hard to ensure that we are connecting riders with the safest rides on the road. The current efforts we are undertaking to protect riders, drivers and cities are just the beginning, and we have an entire safety team dedicated to ongoing safety enhancements."

    Customers are advised to only take Uber or Lyft through their apps -- that way they can assure those drivers are legitimate.

    Concerning insurance, Werth said Uber drivers were required to carry their own insurance, but that insurance companies won't cover Uber claims.

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