Cooper's Ride Sharing Driver Background Check Legislation Sent to Governor

In yesterday's flurry of activity on the last day of legislation for this session, a bill authored by Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D - Elk Grove) on ride-sharing security was sent to the Governor.

That legislation, Assembly Bill 1289, would require ride sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft to complete comprehensive criminal background checks for their drivers. The bill was approved on a 60-4 bipartisan vote yesterday by the California State Assembly.

Currently the California Public Utilities Commission regulates ride-sharing companies but does not require a thorough background checks which capture an individual’s complete criminal history.

“As a father of four daughters, I don’t want my children being picked up by a driver convicted of murder or rape,” Cooper said. “AB 1289 will uncover the complete criminal history of prospective drivers and would help ensure the safety of riders utilizing TNCs.”

Last year, District Attorneys in Los Angeles and San Francisco uncovered 25 participating TNC drivers with convictions for murder, assault, driving under the influence (DUI), and other criminal offenses.

AB 1289 would require comprehensive criminal background checks for each participating ride sharing driver to include local, state, and federal law enforcement records.  The bill would prohibit ride sharing companies from contracting with, employing or continuing to retain a driver if he or she is a registered sex offender or has been convicted of any violent crime, assault, domestic violence, or DUI with fines of up to $5,000 for hiring a driver with a prohibited offense.

Gov. Brown has 30 days to act on the legislation. 

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