Three members of the
"When it comes to public safety, there shouldn't be a double standard in Los Angeles," Councilman
Koretz and Councilman
Koretz, Cedillo and Councilman
"We cannot tolerate an industry that's unregulated, unsafe and unacceptable," Cedillo said, echoing the slogan printed on the red shirts of taxi drivers standing behind him the steps of Los Angeles City Hall.
Uber spokeswoman Eva Behrend said that Uber drivers already have to pass a "rigorous" background check and have a "best-in-class insurance policy." She called AB 612 and another bill pending in the state Senate "thinly veiled attempts to end ride-sharing in the state."
"This legislation is not about safety or consumers; it's about protecting entrenched Sacramento special interests from competition," Behrend said in a statement emailed to the Los Angeles Times.
Lyft spokeswoman Chelsea Wilson echoed her comments, saying Lyft has a $1-million commercial excess liability insurance policy that far exceeds that required for taxis in Los Angeles. The company also "screens out applicants for any violent crimes, sexual offenses, theft, property damage and felonies," Wilson said in an emailed statement.
As the battle over the proposed legislation continues in Sacramento, the California Public Utilities Commission, which has legal jurisdiction over ride-sharing companies, is in the process of tightening and clarifying its insurance requirements for the firms.
Current regulations call for $1 million of coverage that kicks in after a driver's personal insurance hits its limit. Regulations also require criminal background checks and safety inspections of cars, among other things.