SAN FRANCISCO – In lieu of backlash against the company’s driver-screening practices, ridesharing service Uber announced today that they would be stepping up their background checks by ensuring that their drivers actually have an eligible driver’s license. This is the first initiative that Uber has taken towards protecting their customers since they first announced driver’s vehicles would require wheels, seatbelts and airbags.
While for many passengers the change in policy means a safer ride and more comfortable experience, it spells trouble for many veteran drivers who have been getting by for years without an issue.
“I never had problem before this,” says Uber driver Gustav Novak. “Before I just tape picture of myself to steering wheel. People get in car, they see picture, they say ‘Hey, that’s Gustav. Okay.’ Now? They tell me, Gustav, go to DMV. I rather starve.”
While it does appear that some will be able to acquire a license and return to work within a few weeks, others it seems are still coming to grips with the idea that they may have to retire from driving altogether.
“Beep Beep, Vroom vroom?” says Uber driver of 3 years, Billy Eckels, age 4.
No Billy. Not anymore.