Although Uber has maintained a legal distinction as a tech company in the United States — in the EU, it is worth noting, Uber is considered a transport service — the fact remains that transportation is an integral aspect of its business model. To this end, Uber has an obvious interest in making sure that passengers arrive at their destinations safely.

To this end, Uber has taken the decision to constantly monitor its drivers for criminal charges in real-time. Uber’s end goal is to make Uber service safer by promptly removing any driver who is deemed dangerous.

Uber’s Changes from Periodical Checks to Real-Time Monitoring With Latest Update

Until the most recent update, Uber has long conducted "periodic" background checks on drivers. With the latest change, driver backgrounds will now be consistently monitored in real-time. According to Uber, this will help Uber learn of criminal charges immediately, which will prevent the following drivers from serving as a ridesharing driver:

  • Violent criminals
  • Drivers either convicted or charged with felonies
  • Drivers charged or convicted of sexual offenses
  • Registered sex offenders

Note that this could also result in the removal of drivers who are ultimately found innocent since Uber treats a criminal charge, not conviction, as grounds for dismissal. Still, Uber maintains that innocent drivers who are wrongly charged can continue working for the service again more rapidly thanks to the move toward real-time monitoring.

Perhaps most importantly for matters of accident safety, drivers who have been charged with drunk driving or similar criminal driving offenses will also be swiftly removed from the surface. This, in turn, could likely serve to reduce the risk of accidents that are caused by an Uber driver’s negligence.

Even so, this is obviously no guarantee that an Uber driver cannot drink and drive for the first time while taking a ride or engage in otherwise criminal, negligent behavior that could cause an accident.

The Real-Time Monitoring Does Not Extend to Traffic Violations

For passengers, it is also worth mentioning that Uber stated the real-time monitoring update will not extend to driver traffic violations that are not criminal in nature, such as an ordinary speeding ticket. These traffic violations will still be checked periodically by Uber and may eventually result in a driver’s dismissal from the platform as well.

Uber’s company policy also maintains that Uber may permanently deactivate a driver’s account if the driver receives several traffic citations that indicate unsafe driving that jeopardizes passenger safety.

On the whole, these latest changes are a welcome development for the benefit of passenger safety, both in terms of Uber accidents and other criminal acts like sexual assault.

In addition to advancing passenger safety, the move also appears to make financial sense for Uber. The company has faced backlash after high-profile cases that resulted in the company paying millions in fines for hiring drivers with criminal records and failing to conduct proper background checks.

For more information about the latest in Uber safety initiatives or to discuss your path to legal compensation after an Uber accident, talk to an Uber accident lawyer at The Ledger Law Firm for a legal consultation.

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