Is Your Uber Driver a Threat? Illinois State Senator is Fighting for Rideshare Passenger Safety

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SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Senator Robert Martwick (D-Chicago) has introduced a new bill that would require rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft to adhere to the same high standards of care as other transportation companies. This would mean that the common carrier doctrine, which currently exempts these companies, would no longer apply.

If Martwick’s measure passes, rideshare companies would be held liable for any harm caused to their passengers by their drivers, including intentional harm like sexual assault. Currently, victims of such harm have little recourse for holding the companies accountable.

Between 2017 and 2020, there were almost 14,000 reports of sexual assault involving Uber and Lyft, including 824 rapes. Martwick’s bill seeks to change this by subjecting rideshare companies to the same standard of care as other transportation companies.

“It doesn’t matter if the company claims they didn’t know their employee would harm their customer, they can’t use their supposed ignorance as a shield,” said Martwick. “They can, and should, be held liable.”

The bill has passed the Senate Executive Committee and will now go to the Senate floor for further consideration. If passed, it could be a major step forward in ensuring the safety of rideshare passengers and holding companies accountable for any harm caused by their drivers.

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