Uber vows again to improve passenger safety

Uber is reminding its customers that it plans to make changes for safety.On Monday, the company sent an email ...

Posted: Jun 5, 2018 11:38 AM
Updated: Jun 5, 2018 11:38 AM

Uber is reminding its customers that it plans to make changes for safety.

On Monday, the company sent an email to its app users emphasizing its commitment to improving driver screening and passenger safety. The company also outlined a list of safety features it began rolling out earlier this year.

The features include the ability to share trip details with "trusted contacts," a button to call 911 from within the app, as well as a pledge to re-run background checks on drivers each year.

This comes after CNN reported the company had approved thousands of drivers with disqualifying criminal histories, according to state agencies and lawsuits.

Monday's email did not include other forms of driver screening called for by some state regulators and attorneys who are suing Uber, such as in-person interviews, additional government oversight, or fingerprint-based background checks performed on all potential drivers.

Related: Thousands of criminals were cleared to be Uber drivers. Here's how rideshare companies fought stronger checks

CNN reported that Uber led a massive lobbying effort, along with competitor Lyft, to push back on many government efforts to add other layers of scrutiny to the screening process. Out of 43 states that have passed laws on rideshare driver screening processes, all except Massachusetts give rideshare companies the sole responsibility of background checking their drivers. CNN found Uber played a role shaping the language of many of those laws.

Some state agencies in California, Colorado, Maryland and Massachusetts have done additional screening of varying degrees and found what add up to thousands of drivers with criminal records they deemed disqualifying, even though those drivers cleared rideshare companies' private checks.

Uber first announced a series of added safety measures in April, which followed questions from CNN for an earlier report that found more than 100 Uber drivers had been accused of sexual assault or abuse.

Those measures also included investment in new technology to identify offenses by drivers as they occur and an "emergency button" within the app that allows passengers to quickly share their location with police. The emergency button launched last week.

Uber's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who joined the company in 2017, has said safety is his No. 1 priority for the company this year.

"When we fall short, we commit to being open, taking responsibility for the problem, and fixing it," he said in an ad released in May.

Uber also said in May it will no longer force into arbitration passengers who allege they have been sexually assaulted or harassed by drivers.

But Uber and rideshare companies Lyft, Juno, Curb, and Via faced additional questions -- after the initial CNN report -- from nine members of Congress who asked that they detail their protocols related to complaints about sexual assault or harassment and driver training on the topics.

Related: After CNN report, lawmakers want answers from Uber, Lyft on sexual assaults

In response, Uber Chief Legal Officer Tony West sent a letter on May 25 that listed the previously announced safety features and said if police or customers report sexual assaults by drivers, Uber immediately blocks those drivers' access to the app and investigates further.

West did not provide details for the lawmakers' question on whether Uber maintains records of drivers who have been accused of sexual assault, but he said the company has committed to publishing a "safety transparency report" that will include data on assault and other incidents that occur on its platform. He also did not say whether Uber shares information on drivers accused of sexual assault with other rideshare companies.

Denver police took an Uber driver into custody on Friday for investigation of first-degree murder after his passenger was shot and killed.

Colorado's Public Utilities Commission is seeking to fine Uber more than $4 million for allowing 45 drivers with disqualifying records, based on state law. Uber has challenged the fine, which remains pending before an administrative judge.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307332

Reported Deaths: 7095
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20757248
Hinds19869408
Harrison17475302
Rankin13307275
Jackson13095243
Madison9886210
Lee9854169
Jones8289160
Forrest7522146
Lauderdale7185237
Lowndes6261144
Lamar610284
Lafayette6026117
Washington5279132
Bolivar4769129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4440103
Pearl River4418139
Warren4277118
Marshall4267100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4056132
Union403575
Neshoba3984176
Lincoln3869107
Hancock371985
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322681
Pike3177104
Scott310472
Yazoo304268
Alcorn297664
Itawamba296776
Copiah292965
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284668
Prentiss275659
Marion265679
Wayne261341
Leake260973
Grenada254882
Covington254380
Adams245882
Newton244859
George237647
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213273
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182354
Stone179131
Clarke176676
Tallahatchie175240
Calhoun163130
Yalobusha158636
Smith158534
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126223
Noxubee125833
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite119941
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105332
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95126
Humphreys94332
Franklin81723
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518588

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753351487
Mobile37698798
Madison33829494
Tuscaloosa25245443
Montgomery23942565
Shelby23094238
Baldwin20617300
Lee15510165
Calhoun14277311
Morgan14137268
Etowah13660345
Marshall11952219
Houston10379278
Elmore9988200
Limestone9806147
Cullman9467188
St. Clair9422234
Lauderdale9208227
DeKalb8745181
Talladega8042171
Walker7087275
Jackson6753110
Autauga6715103
Blount6480135
Colbert6200130
Coffee5397112
Dale4766110
Russell428238
Franklin419882
Chilton4080109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3892146
Escambia387574
Dallas3526149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305475
Lawrence295295
Winston272272
Bibb256258
Marengo248561
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218675
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176741
Monroe171240
Washington163838
Macon154348
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58624
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