More Concerns on CORI checks and UBER Drivers

More concerns are being raised about the UBER drivers and criminal background and driving record checks performed by UBER prior to putting a driver on the road.  An off-duty UBER driver, was accused of dragging two Boston police officers during a traffic stop last weekend.  He was found  has a long driving and criminal record.   The UBER driver is Bryant Gilbert, who is 45 years old.  He was accused of putting his car in gear during a Mattapan traffic stop on Sunday and dragging two police officers for about 100 yards before the car crashed.

Despite a long history of driving offenses, Uber confirmed that Gilbert had worked as a driver for the ride service in the months before Sunday’s incident.  Clearly, he was not working as an Uber driver on Sunday when the incident occurred with the police.  However, though he drove for UBER for only a short period of time, he was a driver for UBER.

It was reported in the news that according to records from the Registry of Motor Vehicles, Gilbert has received more than 20 traffic citations, including several license suspensions, since 1994. In one year, he was found to be at fault in crashes in Dorchester and Roslindale, and had road violations in Quincy, Dorchester, Seekonk and Bridgewater.

Gilbert was also in federal prison from 2005 to 2014 on a drug conviction.  UBER claims they are including new technology and enhancements and regular audits on their processes.  They state that they require the would-be drivers to provide detailed information, including their full names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, a copy of their driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations, insurance and proof of a completed vehicle inspection. The information is used for background checks, the company said.

According to screening parameters provided by UBER representatives,  anyone seeking to be an Uber driver would be disqualified if, in the past seven years, he or she has convictions of DUI or other drug-related driving charges; reckless driving; hit-and-run; violent crimes, including assault, battery and homicide; acts of terror; sexual offenses; a crime involving property damage; felony or misdemeanor theft, including burglary, stealing or robbery; fatal accidents; resisting or evading arrest; or any other felony.

According to Uber, candidates will be disqualified if they are found to have, in the past three years in the state in which they are applying to drive, violations for driving on a suspended, revoked or invalid license or driving with suspended, revoked or invalid insurance on their records.

Gilbert was ordered held on $50,000 bail Monday after pleading not guilty to assault and battery, drug and other charges in connection with Sunday’s incident. Police said a large sum of money and what was believed to be marijuana were found during Gilbert’s booking process.

The police officers were not seriously injured.  The question is if UBER is doing CORI checks, how is this getting by UBER.

The City of Boston and surrounding communities mourn the loss of Attorney Joseph Wishnow

I am very sad to get the news about the death of 81-year old Attorney Joseph Wishnow. He was a real pillar and support to the individual taxi drivers and the taxi industry for many decades.
We will all miss him and his presence. It is so hard to watch the great members of his generation pass on. They, like Attorney Wishnow, were from a better time and place and brought inspiring values to us all. We must celebrate his life as he made the world a better place for those whose lives he touched. My condolences also to my colleague, his amazing daughter Attorney Robin Fleischer, who he inspired and loved and who follows in his footsteps!…

Boston Taxi ridership declining in 2015

Studies have shown that Boston taxi ridership has dropped 22 percent in the first half of this 2015, a massive decline that provides the strongest evidence to show the impact that the UBER and LYFT industry has had in the city.

From January to June, taxis in Boston reported some 1.5 million fewer passenger trips and took $33 million less in fares — a cut of 25 percent — compared with the same period last year, according to data collected by city regulators. The total number of trips fell to 5.3 million.