NEW YORK—The National Limousine Association
(NLA) and the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association
(TLPA) jointly announced on June 22 a unified position calling for all drivers who transport passengers for a fee to be subject to national fingerprint-based background checks.
The stance is aimed at ensuring the highest standards in vetting the nation's hundreds of thousands of for-hire drivers, and to ensure universal practices to maximize passenger safety are instituted and upheld.
Most drivers within fleets operated by NLA and TLPA members in large to mid-sized cities must pass a fingerprint-based background check before they can transport passengers. However, in nearly every market, services such as Uber and Lyft do not use a fingerprint-based method to vet their drivers.
“For years, many sectors of business, from daycare centers to commercial airlines, have relied on fingerprint-based background checks to verify the accuracy and authenticity of security screenings," said Gary Buffo, president of the NLA, in a statement. "The TLPA and NLA believe we must exhaust all feasible avenues to make certain the people behind the wheels of commercial ground transportation vehicles are indeed who they claim to be. Thanks to recent technological advances, fingerprint background checks are more widely available and accessible than ever before, and it is time we establish a new nationwide standard."
Dwight Kines, president of the TLPA, said, "There simply is no substitute for a fingerprint-based background check. You can fake a name or a social security number, but fingerprints don't lie. The numerous news reports of dangerous drivers for Uber and Lyft are reason enough to call for common-sense safety precautions, and that starts with fingerprints."
A study released last year found fingerprint-based criminal background checks have a potential error rate of only 1%, while name-based background checks can have a potential error rate of 43%.