Going out on a night out often involves meeting up with friends, having a good time and sometimes getting a bit tipsy. Inevitably, it ends up with standing around on a taxi rank with 50 other people waiting for a cab home. This part of the night isn’t always that much fun. You stand there getting cold or wet if it’s raining, the festivities of the night forgotten as you start to get more and more agitated waiting for what seems like endless hours to get home. And then came salvation in the form of Uber. But should Uber introduce lie detector tests for private hire drivers in their pre-employment screening process?
The Uber App
The long wait came to an end with the advent of the Uber Cab driver. The Uber App on your phone allows you to call a private hire driver and track where your driver is. This means you can have that one extra drink in the bar whilst you wait or maybe grab a bite to eat, as you know when they’ll arrive and that (in most cases) they’ll pick you up.
The issue with Uber is that they don’t require a taxi license and only need a private license to operate. A taxi driver needs to go through 3 years of training. Taxi drivers have to have a full DVLA, NI or EEA driving license, must have an Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check and also meet the DVLA Group 2 medical guidelines. Following this, they must pass the DSA taxi driving test.
A private hire driver’s training only takes 16 weeks. Similarly, they must have held a full DVLA, NI or EEA driving license for at least three years. But they only need to pass a Criminal Records Bureau check (not an enhanced one) and meet the DVLA group 2 medical guidelines. They must also pass a map reading and route plotting test called a Topographical test. This is the stage lie detector tests for private hire drivers should be introduced.
So are UberCabs safe? There have been 32 Uber drivers in London alone who have been accused of rape or sexual assault. The statistics show there is an attack reported on the popular private hire app once every 11 days. In the US 103 Uber drivers have been accused of rape or sexual assault. Lie detector tests for private hire drivers would help to identify potential sexual predators and keep them off the streets. This would in turn stop giving them access to vulnerable women who just want to get home at the end of the night.
In the London area 30,000 users download and sign up to Uber weekly and it operates across 20 cities in the UK. Without the enhanced police check for public protection, how do we know who is picking a member of our family or ourselves up?
Lie detector tests for private hire drivers
Introducing lie detector tests for private hire drivers as part of the registration process to join Uber could help reduce the number of these attacks. Asking simple questions to determine the intentions of the drivers would be putting safety first. Any person wanting to become an Uber driver, who solely wants to make a career from it, wouldn’t feel threatened by having to take a lie detector test. Only the drivers who are using this service for their own dubious purposes as a way to pick up vulnerable people would have an issue with taking the test. If the tests were a compulsory part of the Uber background check they may deter unscrupulous drivers.
We invite Uber to contact us to discuss this further.