Money & Business

Survey: Americans Want More Regulations For Ride-Hailing App Drivers

By / Mar 16, 2015 (iStock/Thinkstock)

To help improve the safety of ride-sharing services, many consumers would like drivers to undergo strong security protocols, according to the National Limousine Association—the sponsor of a new campaign to promote greater safety awareness in the shared and hired driver industries.

A majority of Americans believe drivers for ride-sharing services should be subject to more regulation, according to a new survey released by the National Limousine Association.

In an NLA poll of 2,000 people, more than 90 percent said there should be mandatory rules and regulations for drivers who work for services such as Uber and Lyft. Roughly the same percentage of Americans said these drivers should also have liability insurance and that their vehicles should have to pass vehicle inspections. Slightly fewer Americans, 83 percent, thought that ride-hailing app drivers should be required to undergo criminal background checks and regular drug testing.

“Universal standards and best practices are currently absent from our industry,” NLA President Gary Buffo said in a statement. “As the global voice of the private driver transportation industry, we feel it is our obligation to promote a safer and more accountable system for passengers and operators.”

The association, which represents those with a stake in the prearranged car services industry, also launched a public awareness campaign—Ride Responsibly—to promote greater safety and awareness among passengers and drivers. The campaign includes a passenger bill of rights, a duty-of-care checklist for drivers, and a blog platform where passengers and drivers can share their experiences, good and bad, of the ground transportation industry.

“Through Ride Responsibly and Share Your Story,’ the information gathered will help to raise awareness and pave the way for accountability and ultimately legislation,” Buffo said.

Congress is also pushing for stronger regulations of ride-hailing app drivers. Earlier this week, a group of lawmakers called on Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar to require drivers be fingerprinted as an extra protective measure given reports of assaults connected to ride sharing in cities such as Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

“While we understand your companies conduct private background checks when vetting potential drivers, you should take additional steps to increase the safety of your customers,” the group of eight House Democrats wrote. “Specifically, we urge you to adopt comprehensive fingerprint-based background checks for new and existing drivers.”

Some car-sharing services have already taken extra security precautions to increase passenger safety. After rape allegations against an Uber driver surfaced in India, the company added a panic button feature, which it plans to roll out in U.S. markets sometime in the next several months, Uber General Manager Chris Taylor told The Chicago Sun Times.

Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. More »

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