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Opinion

Readers React: Uber and Lyft drivers who operate at LAX should be fingerprinted

To the editor: Michael Hiltzik makes a number of important points. The recent Kalamazoo, Mich., tragedy, in which an Uber driver allegedly went on a shooting spree while picking up passengers, is a telling reminder that what’s good for a business’ profit isn’t always good for public safety. (“After Kalamazoo, shouldn’t Uber stop fighting fingerprint checks?” Feb. 22)

When the Los Angeles City Council last year debated the question of how rigorous the background checks should be for Uber and Lyft drivers who want to pick up passengers at LAX, the main arguments I heard were that it would be too much trouble and that fingerprint checks aren’t any more reliable than whatever it is that the companies were already doing. The Airport Commission bought those lines, as did a majority of my colleagues. I didn’t.

Hiltzik argues that Uber and Lyft should just get with the program and add fingerprints to their security checks on drivers and be done with it. It might not have caught the suspect in Kalamazoo (who apparently had no criminal record), but it could catch some folks we’d rather not have driving in and out of LAX regularly.

Soon I will be asking the Airport Commission to revisit its requirements for background checks on Uber and Lyft drivers, and Hiltzik’s column laid out a good case for why they should include fingerprinting.

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Paul Koretz, Los Angeles

The writer is a member of the Los Angeles City Council.

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