Police, regulators, and lawmakers across the country approve of safety features employed by Uber and Lyft to protect passengers and drivers.
In fact, to date, 38 legislatures have found the safety features to be so comprehensive that they’ve written them into the laws that regulate ridesharing in their states.
Here are some of those safety features, many of which didn’t exist in the transportation industry before Uber and Lyft came along:
✔ All drivers must pass national criminal and driving background checks before accepting rides.
✔ Every car on a ridesharing platform must adhere to strict age and maintenance standards.
✔ All passengers are given their driver’s name, picture, license plate number, and car (make and color).
✔ Every ride is tracked from start to finish with GPS, which passengers can share with their friends and families.
✔ Passengers and drivers are able to contact ridesharing services by email and phone for support.
✔ Passengers and drivers rate each other after each trip.
Experts who’ve examined these features say they’re effective — especially when layered together. Recently, Thomas Frazier, a police expert with over 45 years of experience in law enforcement, compared Uber and Lyft’s background checks with other types of checks and found that:
[Uber and Lyft’s] background checks conducted by professional background screeners are as thorough and effective as any other background check available. Far from a guarantee of safety, fingerprints are unnecessary and do not add value to the background check process.
Regulators in Maryland today agreed with this finding:
The alternative background check processes [run by Uber and Lyft] are as comprehensive and accurate as the fingerprint-based background check.
The safety benefits of ridesharing also go beyond the car, according to the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives:
Studies have shown that availability of services like Lyft in an area not only improve overall road safety, but reduce alcohol-related driving arrests by up to 51%, and reduce assault and disorderly conduct arrests by up to 42%.
All tolled, ridesharing is a net safety improvement for Florida. But a patchwork of local rules restricts or in some cases prevents ridesharing services from operating in many parts of our state. We believe Tallahassee must fix this by passing one set of rules for the entire state, so that ridesharing can deliver better and safer transportation to ALL of Florida.