City council to look at way to improve background checks for ride-share drivers

CHICAGO -- The Chicago City Council is taking up ways to improve background checks for ride-share drivers.

They received a proposal Friday that includes requiring ride shares to search multiple criminal databases when making their decision to allow someone to drive.  The companies will have to search databases like the National Sex Offenders Registry and National Watch Lists.

Lyft is also currently re-running background checks on all their drivers.  It is a process that could take weeks.

This week WGN Investigates reported about a ride-share driver who wasn’t supposed to be out on the road.  Raja L. Khan served seven years in prison on a terror-related conviction.  People with federal convictions are not allowed to drive a ride-share vehicle until five years after their sentence.

Khan was released late last year and will be on probation for the rest of his life and will never be able to drive a ride-share or a cab.  But somehow Khan was able to pass Lyft’s background check.  He spent five months driving passengers around without the company knowing anything about it.

The City’s Office of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection issued 238 citations to Lyft totaling up to $2 million.  The company is also running brand new criminal checks on their thousands of drivers to make sure nobody else beat the system.

City Council will debate the proposal.