Uber, Lyft to Share Information About Drivers Banned for Assault
The ridesharing firms are inviting other US organizations to join the Sharing Safety Program.
If there's one thing that can bring rival rideshare companies together, it's safety. Uber and Lyft are exchanging basic information about drivers and delivery people who have been banned from the platforms for "serious safety incidents," including sexual and physical assaults.
The first-of-its-kind Industry Sharing Safety Program aims to prevent offenders from moving between firms and potentially doing more harm, as well as supporting survivors by giving them peace of mind.
"Sexual assault is drastically underreported, making these crimes less likely to show up in our rigorous background check and screening processes," according to Jennifer Brandenburger, head of policy development at Lyft. "With the Industry Sharing Safety Program, Lyft and Uber are working together to further enhance our screening capabilities, as well as the safety of the entire rideshare industry."
In late 2019, Uber disclosed that it received 3,045 reports of sexual assault during 1.3 billion rides in the US the year prior. Of those cases, 235 involved rape. A study revealed that 58 people—riders, drivers, pedestrians—also died in Uber-related crashes in 2018, while another nine were killed in "fatal physical assaults."
"When we published our US Safety Report, we made a promise: to find a way to share deactivation data with other rideshare and delivery companies," Uber chief legal officer Tony West wrote in a Thursday blog post. "Today, we're making good on that commitment."
As part of the new program, Lyft and Uber will share information about driver deactivations related to the five most critical safety issues detailed in the National Sexual Violence Resource Center's (NSVRC) Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Violence Taxonomy, along with physical assault fatalities.
With workforce solutions provider HireRight at the helm, data will be collected, matched, and shared between participating companies, including transportation and delivery network businesses in the US. Participants must agree to specific requirements, like consistently classifying incident reports, maintaining consistent privacy measures, and communicating data.
"Safety should never be proprietary. You should be safe no matter what ridesharing platform you choose," West said in a statement. "Tackling these tough safety issues is bigger than any one of us and this new Industry Sharing Safety Program demonstrates the value of working collaboratively with experts, advocates, and others to make a meaningful difference. We encourage more companies to join us."