U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is pressing Uber and Lyft to institute more stringent policies to protect riders against sexual assault and harassment, including instituting fingerprint-based background checks on their drivers.
At least two incidents of sexual assault by drivers for app-based, ride-hailing services have been reported in Connecticut this year. In July, a convicted felon driving for Uber was charged with sexually assaulting a young woman riding with him in Fairfield. That same month, a former Uber driver was charged with sexually assaulting an intoxicated female passenger whom he picked up in Stamford in February. The driver was later hired by Lyft.
A CNN investigation last year found that at least 103 Uber drivers nationwide have been accused of sexual assault or abuse.
Calling the assaults “absolutely heartbreaking and gut-wrenching,” Blumenthal — who is a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee — said Thursday that he had recently written letters to Uber and Lyft demanding more be done to protect riders.