In a recent article by the Washington Post, it was reported that ride share companies Uber and Lyft will begin sharing data on driver deactivations related to assaults. This announcement came a year after the two companies agreed to take such measures. Before now, a driver banned from one platform for sexual assault or deadly physical assualts could simply jump to another. This is a major issue both companies have faced for years, a fact the team at Estey & Bomberger know all too well.
Our compassionate attorneys have advocated for these kinds of changes for years. We have witnessed first hand the kind of damages the lax oversight provided by Uber and Lyft has caused. Too many times has an Uber driver sexually assaulted a woman and been banned by the company, only to begin driving for Lyft so that they could prey upon another unsuspecting woman.
In a follow up story by the BBC interviewed Estey & Bomberger attorney Kristen Barton on the matter. In the article, Kristen outlines that this is a step in the right direction, and likely could have prevented some of the assaults our clients have faced. However, the database only includes deactivations, and deactivations are not guaranteed when a report against a driver is lodged. If Uber and Lyft are waiting for a criminal conviction to deactivate, there are still a lot of drivers who would slip through and be free to assault women on both platforms. Many times, sexual assault victims do not report to the police, even when they do, the chances of charges being brought are low, and getting to a conviction even lower. There is also no guarantee that the other company will take any action when they learn a driver on their platform has been deactivated by the other platform because of sexual assaults.
While an improvement on the way Uber and Lyft operate, and a step in the right direction for rider safety, the truth is that unfortunately these kinds of assaults continue to occur on a regular basis. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a sexual assault by and Uber or Lyft driver, Estey & Bomberger is dedicated to helping you stand up against the companies who are responsible for this life shattering event. Contact us today to learn how we can advocate for you.