Taxi Background Checks
The lawmakers of Massachusetts stunned the taxi companies and the state by introducing stricter background check rules for Uber and Lyft drivers. This action was taken after numerous crimes were reported recently. The state’s law makers state that their top priority is the safety and security of the public.
Under the new stricter rules, the lawmakers have made a deal with the Transportation Network Companies. According to the deal, the companies need to do the strictest background check on the drivers. This check includes the criminal records as well. The state has also regulated that only those drivers should be hired by these companies who have never ever been registered as sex offenders. Moreover, they believe that this deal has set a national standard for the background checks done for these companies’ drivers.
The lawmakers were forced to take such a step because of the recent unfortunate incidents. These incidents were reported against the taxi drivers who were engaged in various crimes. An Uber driver was charged for killing six people in a shooting spree lately which left the public in great shock. Due to such heinous crimes, the lawmakers had to introduce stringent laws. They had even made a list of 18 “disqualifying conditions” for the drivers’ application. These conditions include a list of even the minor crimes which the driver may have committed in the early ages of his life. Such conditions have made it further more difficult for the drivers to apply. This has affected even those who had changed their lifestyle and had decided to never return on the dark path.
Additionally, the lawmakers have also made it mandatory to do the background check of the drivers’ entire lifetime against the previous rule of seven years. This step by the state has led to a debate among not only those concerned but also the business and social justice organizations. On one hand, the lawmakers and most of the people feel it was a much needed step. On the other hand, there are many people who are in favor of the drivers. They feel it is a good step but it is preventing the law-abiding citizens from making a living. They are referring to the citizens who made a mistake long back in their lives but have pledged to be sober since then. It has also affected those who were named in some crime but were never convicted because of absence of any evidence.
To make the rules more stringent, the lawmakers have also included those people who have “continuance without a finding” on their record. This is a plea deal with which the defendants can avoid a conviction on their record. This has further aggravated the problem that have this one their record, but have, sobered. The ones who started a new life are back to that point where they have no other option to make earn money. Lawmakers made it severe for the public. But, there are several people and organizations feel that the screening done by state is unfair and potentially discriminatory.