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With New Driver Background Checks, Uber Wants To Show It's Serious About Safety

"All new drivers in all American markets will undergo federal and county background checks," says the company.

With New Driver Background Checks, Uber Wants To Show It's Serious About Safety

[Image: Flickr user M S]

In efforts to show that it is serious about rider safety in light of recent public fumbles, Uber just announced it is expanding its background check policies to more aggressively pre-screen all of its drivers.

What's changing? "As part of this expanded program, all new drivers in all American markets will undergo federal and county background checks, on top of the existing Multi-State Criminal Database check," writes Uber in a blog post. "This expanded program also involves running county and federal background checks on all existing rideshare partners who have not yet cleared these additional checks."

Previously, Uber drivers were only subjected to the screening via the commercial licensing process, whereas drivers part of UberX's rideshare program were screened through an independent provider.

To that end, burgeoning personal transportation programs have been doubling down on measures to show they're serious about customer safety. Last week, for example, Uber competitor Lyft announced expanded insurance coverage for its drivers.

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