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California Ride Sharing Just Got Safer

On January 1 of this year, a new California law (AB1422) went into effect to make ride sharing safer. The law makes ride sharing companies more accountable for their drivers. The new law requires the DMV to provide Transportation Network Companies (TNC) with current and prospective drivers’ records, AND the DMV is required to immediately notify a TNC when one of their drivers receive a moving violation, license suspension/revocation, are involved in an accident, and/or any other action taken against their driving privilege.

AB 1422 applies to all Transportation Network Companies, such as Lyft and Uber. This new law provides TNCs with the ability to contemporaneously discover when drivers from their service/network have a significant change to their driving record. This law is promising to make ride sharing safer by holding ride sharing companies accountable for hiring or continuing to employ drivers that have bad records.

While the TNCs require drivers to submit their DMV driving record prior to hire and have rules regarding drivers reporting moving violations, license suspensions or revocations, accidents, and any other action taken against their driving privilege, the onus of reporting fell on the driver. The “self-reporting” model leads to some drivers not reporting any of these incidents. The new law will prevent those drivers from hiding the negative marks on their record that occur after being hired.

The new law also puts the TNCs on notice of their drivers’ backgrounds, which may prove useful in an injury case caused by a TNC’s driver. This will open up the argument that a TNC is negligent if they allow a driver to continue driving passengers after receiving notice of moving violations or accidents. The law will also prevent a TNC from arguing that they did not know about their driver’s recent record.

We at Beahm Law are glad to see the legislature keeping up with the times and are hopeful that this new law will reduce the number of accidents and injuries caused by the growing numbers of TNC drivers.