Proposed bill aims to keep criminals from working for Uber, Lyft

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A new bill passed by lawmakers aims to keep Uber and Lyft from employing drivers who are registered sex offenders, violent felons or terrorists.

The bill which is now headed to Governor Jerry Brown's desk for approval will require Uber and Lyft to conduct much stricter background checks and layoff certain criminals.

The lawmakers, who passed the bill in the state capitol, are hoping it means a safer ride.

People convicted in the past seven years of assault, domestic violence or driving under the influence would also be banned.

Some passengers who use Uber or Lyft told ABC7 News how they feel about the potential law. "There's so many crazy people and people get through all those filters and we're probably in more danger in our car for a car accident than an Uber driver," Tennessee resident Gillian Freund said.

"You're getting into a stranger's car, so if you could just make sure it's a safe car, as safe as possible, I think that's a good thing," San Jose resident Lauren Rohde said.

If the companies don't follow the rules, they could face fines up to $5,000 per banned driver.

ABC7 News reached out to Uber and Lyft to get a response to the state assembly passing the bill and sending it to the governor's desk, but they have not provided a comment at this time.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the district attorneys of San Francisco and Los Angeles filed a lawsuit in 2014, arguing Uber misled customers by suggesting the background checks on drivers were the toughest in the industry.

Uber eventually agreed to pay up to $25 million to settle.

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