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Do You Know Who's Driving You?

Ride sharing has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it is often a fast and less expensive alternative to the standard taxi cab. While the convenience of a ride share can be very appealing, have you ever stopped to wonder who is behind the wheel of the vehicle?  What measures have been taken to determine your driver is capable of keeping you safe?

There has been some negative press relating to ride sharing corporations and their background screening processes, or lack thereof.  While the more popular companies do conduct a preemployment background check, it’s time to look deeper into what those reports are obtaining on their potential drivers. Is it enough?

Let’s start with fingerprinting.  Fingerprinting is not something that is widely conducted as part of a background investigation for most ride sharing companies.  It’s not just criminals and suspected criminals that have their prints in the system, there’s also government officials, military personnel, and others as well.  Submitting someone to be fingerprinted is an excellent way to determine that a person is who they say they are.

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For a company whose purpose is to provide safe transportation to their customers, continuous monitoring of employees for criminal activity, and motor vehicle reports, is a wise decision.  This can help protect organizations after they have hired an individual.  The reality of the situation is that most ride sharing companies do not re-screen their employees after they are hired.  Commercial Investigation’s vigilant services are post-hire screening solutions that monitor employees continuously, and give notification to any new criminal records or changes to existing records. This is important for ride sharing companies as their employees are constantly on the road where accidents, tickets, and other driving or criminal activity can occur.

 A review of records for a major ride sharing company in Colorado found that dozens of their drivers had felony convictions, major moving violations, and interlocked driver’s licenses.  In Massachusetts, another review found that 51 ride sharing drivers were registered sex offenders.  Additionally, around 8,000 drivers were found to have failed background checks required by the state for taxi and other delivery services.  Something to note is that most of these ride sharing companies only utilize the national sex offender registry, which pulls information from each individual state’s sex offender registry.  While that might seem like an effective and time saving method, it is not the best technique when it comes to checking sex offender status.  In some states, such as Massachusetts and New York, sex offender registry websites only have access to certain levels of sex offenders. They could be passing someone as 'not registered' because they were convicted of a level that is not reported at the national level or on the state's website.

An answer to many of the problems with ride sharing could be expanding the depth of background investigation being conducted.  Commercial Investigations strives to be very thorough, and specializes in detailed investigations using human intervention by trained investigators.

Sherry Kocienski