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Uber promises ‘meticulous’ background checks in Hawaii legal battle

Wed 13 May 2015

Having faced potential restrictions and a ban which would have threatened its livelihood in Hawaii, Uber can now breathe a sigh of relief as the proposed regulations did not pass legislation this week.

The bill, pitched against popular ride-sharing firms such as Uber and Lyft in the Hawaii State Legislature, argued that more measures must be put in place to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers.

However, Uber battled against the restrictions assuring the state that its service is already safe, providing $1,000,000 in commercial liability coverage for every journey and screening its drivers in rigorous background checks.

“Right now the way the bill is written it does not fully appreciate how robust this insurance package is and it would actually put an end to ride sharing as we know it in Hawaii,” said Uber Hawaii general manager Brian Hughes.

In a blog post this week, Tommy Pierucki, marketing manager at Uber, Honolulu, reiterated the company’s ‘meticulous’ background screening policy, outlined at the end of April. Pierucki confirmed that county, state and federal records from the past seven years are checked for each driver, as well as any pending infractions.

“This […] record screening also scrutinizes the National Sex Offender Registry, a lifetime Social Security trace, and DMV Records in multiple jurisdictions, not just in the state where the person is applying […] ALL vehicles on the Uber platform must meet stringent safety standards,” noted Pierucki.

He added that a high level of safety is also guaranteed through GPS tracking and real-time feedback on coordinates.

“While we made great progress this legislative session, we will continue to work with state legislators and the broader community to craft balanced, forward-thinking ridesharing regulations to ensure Uber has a permanent home in Hawaii,” said Pierucki.

It is unclear whether the Hawaiian restrictions will re-enter the foray against Uber in the next legislative session.


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