Boston Chauffeur Backs Bill to Have Uber, Lyft Drivers Fingerprinted

By Boston Chauffeur
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A group of chauffeur luxury vehicle companies and a Massachusetts lawmaker are renewing their efforts to have Uber and Lyft drivers fingerprinted to protect the public less than a week after a woman was raped by a former Uber driver in Boston.

Boston Chauffeur Backs Bill to Have Uber, Lyft Drivers Fingerprinted - Courtesy photo NBC News

(Courtesy photo NBC News)

Scott Solombrino, a spokesman for Ride Safe Massachusetts, a group that represents chauffeured car and taxi companies, told the Boston Herald that fingerprints would provide the security needed. Solombrino, who also owns Dav El/Boston Coach, told the newspaper fingerprinting is in response to what they describe as a “nonstop series of violent assaults against women by drivers working for these ride-hailing companies.”

Rep. Michael Moran (D-Brighton), has filed the bill that would require drivers for all transportation network companies to submit fingerprints to be checked in the state and national criminal history databases.

Mark Kini, the founder and CEO of Boston Chauffeur in Beverly, Mass., echoed the sentiments shared by many of his fellow chauffeur luxury vehicle operators.

“This bill is long overdue. Uber and Lyft pose an imminent threat to public safety. At Boston Chauffeur, we do rigorous background checks and safety training. Providing a premium and safe service is what our customers expect,” Kini said.

The renewed push to require fingerprints from Uber and Lyft drivers followed the alleged sexual assault of a woman on March 29. State Police reported a woman was sexually assaulted on Storrow Drive near the Hatch Memorial Shell. Daudah Mayanja, 37, of Waltham was charged with two counts of rape.

Representatives with Uber and Lyft told the Boston Herald that while their companies already have extensive security background checks in place when they onboard new drivers, they are always open to discussing additional measures with state officials.

MA State House - Courtesy photo Boston Discovery Guide

(Courtesy photo Boston Discovery Guide)

The Boston Herald reported that Solombrino and law enforcement officials urged legislators to include fingerprinting as part of the law that requires background checks before it was signed by Gov. Charlie Baker in 2016, but the effort failed.

Solombrino also told the newspaper that they are also working on a bill to require random drug testing, which he said is even more pertinent now that recreational marijuana is being sold. The coalition expects the legislation to be filed later this month.

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