The House Financial Services Committee released a bill on Friday in Massachusettsthat calls for drivers of ride-hailing companies, such as Uber and Lyft,to undergo abackground check, but law enforcement was looking for more.
According to CBS Boston, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, along with the state associations of police chiefs and district attorneys, has also been advocating forfingerprint checks for drivers. Evans has saidmultiple times that they are the only way to make sure of safety. Boston police have started fingerprinting taxi drivers last month and want the same requirement for ride-hailing drivers.
The push for stronger laws comes following two assaults on female passengers by Uber drivers in theBoston area. Both of the drivers passed the company’s criminal background check and did not have a record, the Boston Herald reported.
The bill released Friday would require a background check with atwo-step process — the first step conducted by the company and the second by state regulators, part of a new “Ride for Hire Division” that was created by the state Department of Public Utilities, according to CBS Boston.
According to the Boston Herald, the legislation would additionally prohibit drivers who have been convicted of crimes including DWIs, sexual assault and violent crimes.
The bill willnowgoto the full House for further debate.