Governor Signs Assemblyman Obernolte’s Bill to Ensure Passenger Safety with Uber and Lyft

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– Assemblyman Obernolte (R-Hesperia) announced that Governor Newsom has signed his bill to improve public safety by prohibiting a person from driving for a ride-sharing service if the driver was convicted of felony human trafficking.

“As ride-sharing services are utilized more and more as a convenient mode of transportation, it is of the utmost importance to ensure that we are protecting passenger safety,” Assemblyman Obernolte said. “Our residents need to have confidence that when they get into a vehicle, they will have a safe ride home. As a father, I know that I feel more comfortable knowing that drivers go through criminal background checks before my children use these services.”

In 2016 the Legislature passed a law that required Transportation Network Companies (TNC’s) to conduct criminal background checks for each participating driver. It also prohibited a TNC from retaining a driver who is required to register as a sex offender, or who has been convicted of specified offenses including violent felonies and misdemeanor domestic violence offenses, and established fines for violations of these requirements.

The U.S. Department of State estimates that 14,500 to 17,500 victims are trafficked into the United States each year. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, California consistently has the highest number of human trafficking incidents reported in our country. Assembly Bill 880 helps to ensure the safety of all consumers in California who use these services by including felony human trafficking in the list of crimes that prevent a person from driving for a TNC.

This bill will take effect January 1, 2020.

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