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Colorado Uber drivers may undergo annual background checks

Posted at 8:02 PM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-03 22:03:03-04

Following thousands of violations, major changes could be coming for Uber drivers in Colorado.

Even though the Public Utilities Commission already dismissed many of those, in a recent settlement proposal, they say they’re willing to dismiss all fines if Uber enforces some new safety procedures.

Andy Hogin has been a full-time Uber driver for a year now…
He likes the flexibility it offers.

“I can drive daytime, nighttime, it doesn’t really matter, i can just try whenever,” Hogin said.

What does matter, though, is what kind of records these drivers have – or at least to Colorado’s Public Utilities Commission.

In November of 2017, PUC issued fines for 3,570 violations involving drivers with felonies or without valid licenses. This resulted in $8.9 million in fines.

Despite dismissing some violations, the PUC is willing to give Uber a fresh start, dismissing all fines if Uber makes some upgrades.

In the settlement proposal, they’re demanding Uber run background checks every year instead of every five years as required by state statute.

Uber responded with the following statement:

“We are committed to continuing to put safety at the heart of everything we do. We are proud to serve Colorado and will continue to invest in rider and driver-partner safety in the state and beyond.”
– Stephanie Sedlack, Uber spokesperson

Hogin is all for the added security measures.

“Somebody could’ve gotten a DUI in the last year, gotten multiple speeding tickets, you know, anything like that,” he pointed out.

Uber driver Tina Barnes feels the same way.

“I think the one year would be fine,” she said.
“‘Cause we have to get our physical and everything has to be up-to-date every year, so why not that, you know?”

Hogin thinks it would boost passenger confidence, too.

“Makes them feel safe that we get background checks more frequently,” he added.

And he might be onto something.

“I could get in a car easier with Uber knowing they’ve been checked recently than five years ago,” noted Uber app user Lacy King.

After all, a criminal record may be better to brought to light sooner rather than later.

“A lot could happen in a year,” King said.
“But you’re going to find out much quicker instead of five years.”

Uber says all these changes and added safety procedures could cost about $2.4 million.
A judge has to approve the settlement before it’s official, that hearing before a judge is set for October 29.