Ride Safe presentation to Wisconsin Legislators
Justin La Plante
Chief Administrator of Ride Safe International
Ride Safe DOES NOT support the deregulation of the Taxi industry as proposed in SB-759 and AB-918
Ride Safe International is a 501c3 Non-profit formed in 2018 for the purpose of research, charity, protecting ethics and safety in commercial transportation.
Because of the increase in assaults on customers, uninsured operations and fraud caused as a direct result of Rideshare/TNC operations and deregulation, Ride Safe was formed to address the issue.
The business model of Rideshare/TNC companies such as Uber and Lyft establishes an incentive in the transportation market to operate without proper insurance, basic safety considerations or accountability for the service provided. This method of business is nothing more than profit for suffering.
Safe, Insured and accountable transportation is a right of the consumer and providing transportation with proper vetting and insurance should be a requirement of ALL providers.
Lowering the regulatory standards the Taxi and Limo industry to those of Rideshare/TNCs would only compound an already out of control epidemic of assaults.
Rideshare/TNCs are the most statistically unsafe form of commercial transportation in the United States.
The primary objectives of Ride Safe:
-Prevention of Drunk Driving
-Universal Para-transit availability
-Fair wages and work for all providers
-Assistance to victims of assault by providers
-Assistance to victims of commercial transportation fraud
-Assistance to victims of uninsured operations
The legislation proposed by SB-759 and AB-918 directly conflicts with these objectives.
A report on the effect of this proposed legislation has been published on www.ridesafeworld.com and has been shared with your offices.
Evidence of fraud, uninsured operations and increased assaults on customers by Rideshare/TNC companies and their drivers is available on www.ridesafeworld.com.
A petition in objection to this legislation and it’s signature record are available at www.ridesafeworld.com and has been shared with your offices.
If you have not received these materials, please contact me through the contact information provided above or visit www.ridesafeworld.com
Negligence of DSPS to properly regulate
On May 5th 2016 I submitted two complaints to DSPS, one for Uber technologies and one for Rasier LLC, the company Uber uses for it’s insurance and driver contracting liability scheme.
The reference numbers for the records regarding these complaints at DSPS records are:
16-UNL090 and 16-TNC001
The additional documents pertaining to these complaints, investigation materials and investigation videos can be found at www.ridesafeworld.com under the article:
“Uber allows driver to register with fake insurance/registration documents *video*”
In March of 2016, Ride Safe had completed an investigation proving that Uber had accepted an application and approved the person applying after the person applying submitted SEVERAL falsified documents including a falsified Insurance policy and a falsified Wisconsin state vehicle registration.
Uber did not verify the documents against publicly available state records or with the falsified insurance company named in the documents.
Uber and Uber’s background checking service Checkr.com BOTH cleared the falsified driver to be an Uber driver.
We then tested the Uber application on the phone of the person who applied with the falsified documents to see if we would be available on the app to customers.
The falsified driver WAS made available on the Uber app and we were able to demonstrate this LIVE on the Tony Casteneda ‘Morning Buzz’ radio program on WORT and another test which appears on a Youtube.com video attached to the article on www.ridesafeworld.com.
I then submitted a formal complaint on the matter to DSPS. DSPS informed me that the complaint would take THREE MONTHS to process. After FOUR MONTHS had passed DSPS stated the complaints had been processed and no action would be taken as DSPS saw no violation of the law.
If DSPS does not deem a clear violation of the state law regulating Rideshare/TNC companies then how can DSPS also be expected to properly regulate the entire state’s taxi industry as well?
If just ONE complaint of a clear violation of the states current Rideshare/TNC law takes FOUR MONTHS to process with DSPS, how can DSPS be expected to properly regulate any business or industry in the state of Wisconsin?
Open record plate reports on Uber and Lyft drivers operating in Wisconsin, insurance fraud schemes and the ILLEGAL cash hail sting in Green bay on December 23rd.
Both Uber and Lyft claim that Drivers with violent felon, DUI/OWI and dangerous traffic violation records can not be drivers on their platforms. However, Ride Safe has logged several drivers with criminal violent felon, DUI/OWI and dangerous traffic violation records operating for Uber and Lyft since 2015 in the state of Wisconsin.
Both Uber and Lyft maintain contracting with drivers which clearly indicates that not arranging proper notification of commercial operations to a driver’s own insurance provider invalidates any and all coverage offered by the rideshare company.
However it is not mandated in current Rideshare/TNC regulations for Rideshare drivers to properly communicate the comme4rcial use of their own vehicles to the DOT or their own insurance provider.
Insurance companies offering so-called “rideshare” insurance to Rideshare/TNC drivers, such as Erie insurance, are not properly arranging these policies for proper coverage.
Uber claims to have comprehensive insurance coverage for all passengers. However after Uber technologies lost a lawsuit in 2015 over a falsified fee listed as a “safe rides” fee, the company quickly switched the “safe rides” fee to a “booking” fee for the same exact amount.
Several terms in the customer usage agreements for both Uber and Lyft clearly indicate that both companies are not liable for safety, property damage, personal injury, bodily injury, insurance coverage shortfalls or otherwise invalidation with the services provided to the customer.
It is clearly defined in Sb-106 and AB-143 (2015 Wisconsin legislature), the current Rideshare/TNC regulations for Wisconsin that no Rideshare/TNC driver can take a hail or flag for cash without arrangement of the ride through the app being used by the Rideshare/TNC driver.
However Ride Safe was able to log several drivers with Uber and Lyft accepting illegal cash hails outside of the apps during the December 23rd Packer game in Green bay.
The proposed legislation in SB-759 and AB-918 would deregulate the Taxi industry to the same standards as Rideshare/TNCs and would allow Taxi operators state wide to operate in the same manner as Rideshare/TNC companies and their drivers.
Proper insurance, fingerprint background checks and provisions for customer safety and proper execution of the service are not to be trusted exclusively to the service provider without oversight.
They are requirements that should be mandated by law to prevent crime and fraud.
Statement to the representatives
My name is Justin la Plante,
I am the Chief Administrator of the recently approved and now operational 501c3 known as Ride Safe International or RSI.
When considering the proposed legislation ab-918 and SB-759, one can not ignore the striking similarity in the deregulation proposed to the current Rideshare/TNC regulations ab-143 and sb-106 passed in 2015. It is prudent to consider the current state of Rideshare/TNC transportation in Wisconsin as a result.
Since 2016 Ride Safe has compiled a list of plates with open records checks competed on several Rideshare/TNC drivers in the Madison, Green bay and Milwaukee areas. These records and the findings within them have been repeatedly shared with your offices, put on public record and have aided in exposing several cases of insurance fraud, falsified license plates and drivers operating with criminal records in excess of the safety and vetting claims made by Uber and Lyft.
In November an Uber driver here in Madison brutally beat and sexual assaulted his female passenger. This driver was approved to operate for Uber without a fingerprint background check, a basic vehicle inspection or any sort of required insurance communication with his own vehicle insurance provider.
JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER UBER AND LYFT DRIVER CURRENTLY OPERATING THROUGH OUT THE STATE OF WISCONSIN under the current regulations.
This assault was not only the most heartless and brutal to have been committed by a commercial driver, taxi or otherwise in the area in decades but it was entirely preventable.
Drivers who are not required to have an actual background check or validate the proper insurance policies for their service are not professionals.
A company that does not require or mandate simple comprehensive screening and insurance procedures is not professional.
Rideshares have been operating under the same kinds of regulations as SB-759 & AB-918 for just over three years now in Wisconsin and it has given a lot of criminals easy access to their prey.
As more assaults are reported and more victims cry out for justice I have found that there is no longer a single legislator in this state can honestly defend these companies to me or anyone else with proof, facts or even so much as an anecdotal half truth, though some have tried these last three years.
Representative Brostoff and Senator Nass’s aid Mr. Mickelson know exactly what I am talking about.
Through out studying the numerous criminal and accident reports with rideshares another key factor is important to note.
While Taxi companies have an average emergency response and law enforcement compliance time of under thirty minuets if not instant in many cases as they use live dispatch, Uber and Lyft average in rather unaccountable responses between one to 48 hours in compliance for emergency response and law enforcement requests
If police need to identify or track a taxi there is a phone number and a human dispatcher who can and will provide the information to a properly identified officer instantly and without needless delays.
Rideshare/TNCs do not offer a number with a live human to law enforcement but rather a long web page and text submission process.
The Kalamazoo mass shooting committed in February of 2016 by Uber driver Jason Dalton is a perfect example of the flaw in Rideshare emergency response and dealing with unsafe drivers.
Hours before Dalton killed his first victim, Uber customers were texting complaints to Uber’s complaint system about Dalton’s erratic and dangerous driving while providing rides on the platform. They were given no means to call Uber or speak to a LIVE human being.
It was not until hours AFTER Dalton had killed his last victim that Uber responded on the incident and the initial complaints made BEFORE the shootings took place.
Expanding this same sort of deregulation to the Taxi market will only compound these issues and force more to suffer.
DSPS is an agency that has proven it can not properly regulate Rideshare/TNC companies. How can it be expected to also include Taxi regulation?
Included in the materials I have given this council today is a segment of the DSPS report I received yesterday concerning a complaint I made to DSPS in 2016.
Ride Safe was able to register a driver on the Uber platform with falsified documents.
The driver was accepted on the app and made available to customers.
We documented this and reported it to DSPS along with numerous rideshare/TNC plate reports, uninsured operations and fraud being sanctioned By both Uber and Lyft through out the state.
DSPS took over FOUR MONTHS to process this complaint.
I have made all documents available to state legislators and the public.
The segment I have presented to you in this booklet reveals that during this review process of the complaint a representative with a company called Rasier LLC, which apparently handles all of Uber’s legal, driver contracting and insurance matters, the same as pyramid scams use their dummy and shell companies, responded to DSPS with several statements.
The Rasier LLC representative is Scott Binnings.
Pay close attention to Mr, Scott Binnings’s statements in his responses.
He claims that Rasier LLC checks documents and has a system for verifying documents but he does not claim that Rasier LLC’s process is comprehensive or even effective in detecting falsified documents as was the case proven by the several falsified documents approved and accepted which you can see in the later portion of the booklet.
He claims Rasier LLC maintains an insurance coverage for Uber operations and that there are agreements with Uber drivers concerning when Rasier’s insurance would cover or the driver’s insurance would cover but no where in his statements does he claim or even concretely state that ANY of these policies would ever actually cover a wreck or any circumstances stemming from a wreck.
Mr. Binnings goes so far as to state that calling an Uber a “commercial transportation vehicle” is false, given what he states is the “TNC model” even though numerous judicial rulings against Uber since 2015 clearly indicate that these vehicles are in fact providing “COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION”.
The double talk and fraudulent dismissals of liability are as consistent in Mr. Binnings’s responses as the terminology in the Uber Customer usage agreement and the Uber driver contracting handled through Mr. Innings company Rasier LLC. This is the same double talk and fraudulent dismissal of liability found in counterpart documents with Lyft.
Despite Mr. Binnings’s statements and their obvious contradiction to fact of evidence presented, DSPS dismissed the complaint and took no action.
It took them four months to do this and as you can see from the documents, a mountain of public resources was wasted.
This isn’t even 1/4th of the ridiculousness that you will find in the remaining documents concerning this report.
DSPS was also making clerical errors with simple IT issues on document conversion.
There is an additional portion of the report containing a transcript of an online chat between myself posing as the person applying to become an Uber driver and an Uber employee screening the documents I had submitted.
I almost thought the person screening me would discover the first set of documents was falsified.
They not only accepted them but they accepted one of the most moronic excuses, I could have offered for why the first documents had issues.
At no time was I ever asked if the documents were fake before the gentleman who I had signed up for Uber with falsified insurance and state vehicle registration documents was accepted by Uber with flying colors.
The falsified insurance document had two entirely different and equally falsified vehicle VIN numbers on it.
I would like to thank this council for it’s time and to please do everything in your power to make sure I do not have to return here in another three years to tell you “I told you so”,…. Again.
I am open for any questions you may have.