Presentation for Wisconsin state legislature (Senate and Assembly) concerning rideshare/TNC operations in the state of Wisconsin since 2014 and proposed regulation of Rideshare/TNC operations in Wisconsin
Prepared by Justin La Plante
Administrator of Ride Safe www.ridesafeworld.com
Visit www.ridesafeworld.com to view the linked/attached content listed if you are reading the condensed printed version of this document ‘Ride Safe Presentation for Wisconsin state Senate and Assembly, regulation of rideshare/TNC companies’.
In April of 2015 I made a previous presentation to the Wisconsin state legislature concerning the dangers of Rideshare/TNC operations and various regulatory loopholes exposed in the bills being presented at that time (Senate 106 and Assembly 143 for 2015).
In that presentation I warned the legislation of several issues that have since become regular occurrences with the operations of the Rideshare/TNC companies Uber and Lyft through out the state of Wisconsin.
The main issues:
-Lack of insurance coverage provided by Uber and Lyft for their operations due to fraudulent terms used in the driver and customer contracting for both companies. This has lead to numerous incidents of uninsured rideshare/TNC wrecks in the state and accident incidentals being forced on the general tax paying public of Wisconsin.
-Exploitation of rideshare/TNC drivers and customers through fraudulent pricing schemes and surge rate schemes.
-Drivers with violent felon, DUI/DWI/OWI and sex offender records being allowed to operate with rideshare/TNC companies with regular access to the general public.
-Regular reported incidents of Rideshare/TNC drivers assaulting customers, harassing customers and members of the general public, violating common traffic laws and denying service based on race, geography, income and disability.
The volume of incidents with rideshare/TNC drivers has remained statistically excessive compared to vetted Taxi/Cab company drivers through out the state of Wisconsin.
Without basic regulatory adjustments to the current law concerning Rideshare/TNC operations in the state these incidents will continue on a regular basis and increase in volume the more rideshare/TNC operations expand.
However it is the opinion of Ride Safe that the regulations suggested by bills 182 and 181 are themselves excessive in regulation beyond basic requirements with respect to public safety, free and fair trade.
Bills 181 and 182 also fail to indicate and address the main issues with rideshare/TNC operations and transportation safety for all commercial transportation businesses in general through out the state.
With this presentation it is the intention of Ride Safe to properly cover the main issues concerning Rideshare/TNC operations in Wisconsin and offer a more effective means of regulatory adjustment that will eliminate these issues for Rideshare/TNC companies, Taxi companies and the general public.
Issues with Rideshare/TNC operations
Open records search from rideshare vehicle license plates reported to Ride Safe in Madison Wisconsin.
Open records search findings in Madison WI:
Drivers with sexual assault and DUI/OWI/DWI charges on recent criminal records found CURRENTLY driving for both Uber and Lyft in the Madison area
Plate# 355NES Uber sticker on vehicle
-4th degree Sexual assault charge from 2010
2008 KIA SPORTAGE with VIN KNDJF724087470754
Plate# 885YAH Uber and Lyft confidentially reported by passenger
-1st degree sexual assault of a child from 2004
2013 JEEP COMPASS with VIN 1C4NJDEB1DD207550
Plate# 209XLY Uber marked with sticker and confirmed by driver
-Multiple arrests, warrants and charges
-Multiple DUI/DWI/OWI charges
-3rd degree sexual assault
2013 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER with VIN 5TDDK3EH4DS238190
Plate# 930ZMM Uber app on in driver’s hand
-OWI from 2009
2011 FORD FUSION with VIN 3FAHP0HAXB
TEN rideshare plates collected on 6/23/2017 between 10:30pm and 2:00am:
Number of rideshare plates reported to Ride Safe in the Madison area since 2014: 144
Number of rideshare plates reported to Ride Safe in Madison found to be operating with proper insurance and commercial notification to Wisconsin DOT: 0
Ride Safe has cataloged only a fraction of the Uber and Lyft drivers operating in Madison currently.
If the number of convicted felons, DUI/OWI/DWI offenders and sex offenders operating on both platforms is this high with this few reported and in this small of a sample area it is academic that more will be found in the coming months as more are reported over larger areas and larger cities through out Wisconsin.
Comparison with vetted and fully insured taxi plate
Ride Safe Process of open records checking
Ride Safe uses open records searches provided by www.Recordsfinder.com and the Wisconsin state DOT plate records search system.
No detailed or directly identifying information about the drivers or vehicle owners are shared publicly.
All vehicles belonging to drivers found operating for a rideshare or taxi company that are found with a dangerous criminal record or operating an improperly insured vehicle are noted in our database, reported to law enforcement and regulators and advised to the public by plate number ONLY.
Address and vehicle information are used to specify the driver to the vehicle and to the background reports to eliminate false records, individuals with the same name who are not the actual vehicle owner or previous vehicle owners.
The report information is added to the database entry for the plate number with the only details listed pertaining to vehicle descriptors and NOT identifying information about the driver.
If a report comes up as ‘inconclusive’ this means that there is absolutely no public data to validate if the driver does not have a violent criminal record or has proper insurance coverage or commercial usage listing for the vehicle with the DOT.
Since the registration processes used by Uber and Lyft have been found to allow convicted felons, sex offenders and drivers with recent DWI/OWI/DUI charges to drive on these platforms, it is impossible to indicate that any reported rideshare driver does NOT have a criminal record.
Since the registration processes used by Uber and Lyft have been found to allow uninsured drivers on these platforms, it is impossible to indicate that any reported ridesahre driver has a valid form of insurance for rideshare operations.
Uber accepts our fake driver with falsified registration and insurance documents in Madison, WI:
Ride Safe conducted an investigation to test Uber’s driver registration process. In this investigation it was concluded that Uber does accept and clear individuals to drive on the platform with fake registration and insurance documents. See attached article.
In a segment on the Tony Castaneda “morning buzz” on 89.9FM WORT we tested the Uber app LIVE on air with our fake uber driver’s account:
Comparison between Taxi/Cab company operations and Rideshare/TNC operations concerning the volume of crimes committed by drivers.
Frequency of rape among Taxi drivers compared to Uber and Lyft drivers in a general 2 page search result on google.
Google term search conducted 8-21-2017
First 2 Pages Google result for:
‘Taxi driver Rapes customer’
Confirmed cases in the United States resulting in Charges filed:
May 31, 2017 Washington Taxi driver
March 23rd 2017 Las Vegas Taxi Driver (driver was turned in by taxi company in compliance with local law enforcement)
PDF screen captures:
First 2 Pages google result for:
‘Uber driver Rapes customer’
Confirmed Cases in the United States Resulting in charges filed:
–August 18, 2017 New York, NY Uber Driver
–Jun 26, 2017 Los Angeles, CA Uber Driver
–May 10, 2017 New York, NY Uber Driver
–January 28th, 2017 Kansas City, MO Uber Driver
–March 30 2017 Newport Beach, CA Uber driver
–May 09, 2017 West Palm Beach, FL Uber Driver
– JUNE 27, 2017 Holywood, CA Uber driver
–Aug 16, 2017 Tulsa, OK Uber Driver
–APRIL 26, 2017 Boston, MA Uber Driver
(No compliance or assistance offered by Uber in reporting or investigation in ANY reported cases)
PDF screen captures:
First 2 pages google results for:
‘Lyft driver rapes customer’:
Confirmed Cases in the United States Resulting in charges filed:
–Jul 24, 2017 Chicago, IL Lyft driver
-August 3rd 2017 San Diego, CA Lyft driver
–Jan 26, 2017 Atlanta, GA Lyft Driver
–Sep 29, 2016 Orlando, FL Lyt driver
(No compliance or assistance offered by LYFT in reporting or investigation in ANY reported cases)
PDF screen captures:
Reported incidents world wide
2014 to 2017 – 29 Deaths
From car accidents and incidents of Murder directly caused by Rideshare drivers
2013 to 2017 – 69 Assaults committed by rideshare drivers
From incidents where the rideshare driver assaulted a customer, pedestrian or other driver
2013 to 2017 – 287 Sexual Assaults
From incidents where the rideshare driver sexually assaulted a passenger
2014 to 2017 – 11 Kidnappings
From incidents where a ridesahre driver kidnapped a customer
2014 to 2017 – 19 Felons found driving for rideshares
From reports of convicted felons found operating for a ridshare company
Incidents through out Wisconsin
In The same month that Senate bill 106 and assembly bill 143 were being presented in 2015 TWO sexual assaults were committed by an Uber driver.
Uber stalled attempts by police to access information or find the identity of the driver.
If this had occurred with a Taxi driver, the identity of the driver would have been provided to police from available records.
TWO months after bills 106 and 143 were signed into law an Uber driver denied service to a blind resident not even one block from the state capital.
Last year a 22 year old Uber driver who had only been driving on the platform a month abandoned a passenger on the Madison belt line in November.
The passenger was intoxicated and was eventually struck and killed on the highway.
The Uber driver had not even informed police or made a report to uber.
January of THIS YEAR a driver in Green bay operating on the Uber platform was recorded using illegally installed police lights to force Taxis out of pick up areas and take hand flags for cash. After Ride Safe ran the vehicle’s pate for a background check it was found that the driver had no insurance and had previously been convicted for driving without registration. During this time the driver had been spotted clearly using the Uber app on his phone WHILE driving in traffic.
Under the state law regulating Rideshare/TNC vehicles, no ridesahre can take a street flag or cash fare.
July 30th 2017 an Uber driver in Madison made disparaging racial comments about a customer.
Recorded testimony from former Uber drivers Paul Resnikov and Mark Grassman.
Paul Reznikoff is a former Uber driver in the Madison area who offered testimony to the Isthmus and Ride Safe in 2015.
Statement from Paul Reznikoff:
Monday March 30th, 2015
MY name is Paul Reznikoff, I have been an Uber driver in Madison over the last year. I made the decision on Sunday March 29, 20015 that I no longer want to work for Uber. My reasons are far to many to list, but to sum it up in a clear sentence, I do not want to work for a company that is not 100% crystal clear with how their operations truly work. Working for a company that does not provide an emergency contact phone number is unacceptable to me, and somewhat suspect.
I have authorized Madison resident Justin La Plante (499 Blackbird Ln) to present my
documentation and recorded accounts I have provided to him to share with the Madison City Council, madison city attorney, Wisconsin state legislators of the assembly and Senate and the public record. The documents and recordings I have provided to Justin La Plante account for the business activities of Uber Technologies, which I believe to be deceptive, fraudulent, illicit, and unfair to myself, other Uber drivers and the general public.
P.O. Box 658 Wyocena, WI 53969
Recorded conversation with uber driver Mark Grassman
Mark Grassman is an Uber driver in the Madison area who called the listed “call-in” number on the ‘Uber of Madison’ facebook page in February of 2016.
It is clearly stated in disclaimer and group info on this facebook page that this is a facebook page being operated by Ride Safe to collect complaints about Uber services and to report warnings to the general public about Uber’s uninsured and fraudulent services.
Mr. Grassman assumed it was a group operated by Uber and had called the posted call-in number to speak with me.
At no time did i identify myself as a representative of uber or claim to be affiliated with Uber technologies.
In his statements Mr. Grassman claimed that Uber had encouraged him to operate without proper insurance or proper notification to his own Auto insurance provider.
Issues with fraudulent contracting in Rideshare/TNC driver and User agreements
There are several terms in the customer and driver agreements for Uber and Lyft which clearly indicate that both companies can and will deny liability for safety and insurance coverage with respect to the driver and the customer.
Uber’s driver contract:
Several portions of this agreement indicate unclear terms for the driver’s established insurance policy and the relationship to lyft’s insurance policy.
Uber uses a non-solvent surplus line policy.
Section 6 of this agreement disclaims all liability on the part of Uber for safe or accountable delivery of services provided.
Lyft’s driver (partner) contract:
Several portions of this agreement also indicate unclear terms for the driver’s established insurance policy and the relationship to lyft’s insurance policy.
Lyft also uses a non-solvent surplus line policy.
Lyft’s customer agreement (terms of service):
Section 12 of this agreement disclaims any liability on behalf of Lyft for the safe or accountable delivery of services provided.
Regulatory changes in Massachusetts and accident liablity
When the state of Massachusetts enacted a requirement for all rideshare drivers to comply with actual criminal background checks Uber complied with the new law. This process removed over 8000 uber drivers who had dangerous felony convictions and sex offender records from being able to operate on the platform.
Uber’s background check service Checkr, which is still the only background check service checking Uber drivers in Wisconsin had missed these criminal records in their background check process.
Senate bills 181 and 182 (2017) are far reaching and would not properly address these issues with Rideshare companies or respect the spirit of fair and free trade in commercial transportation.
A simple adage of terms for insurance and commercial operations notification and compliance on the part of Rideshare/TNC drivers would resolve these issues effectively to satisfy not only rideshare customers and the general public but also any issues for the conventional taxi/cab market.
Ride Safe would offer the following terms to be amended to the current law either by revision of 181 and 182 or amendment to the original 106 (senate 2015) and 143 (assembly 2015):
1- The requirement for all Rideshare/TNC drivers to provide proper written notification to their own auto insurance providers, lease holders, warranty holders and service plan providers.
This notification must indicate clearly that the vehicle will be operated comercially as a rideshare/tnc vehicle BEFORE begining any Rideshare/TNC operations with that vehicle.
The driver must be required to also submit this notification to the rideshare company they work for as well as the state regulatory body in charge, in this case DSPS (Department of Safety and Professional Services).
Once confirmation of notice has been sent and responded by all policy holders, confirmation should be required to be on public record at DSPS.
A modification in DSPS services to require filing charges from the Rideshare/TNC driver or the company they work for to cover filing should be required.
2- A visible sticker to be provided by DSPS or the rideshare/TNC company required for front and rear display on rideshare/TNC vehicles to indicate compliance.
This sticker would indicate compliance and aid in a much needed indication to law enforcement and the public. This would eliminate persons impersonating ridesahre/tnc drivers, problems with properly reporting rideshare/tnc violations and allow rideshare/tncs to effectively operate in regular commercial transportation drop/pickup areas that Taxi/cabs do.
3- A mandate for background checking of rideshare driver applicants that is at least equal to that of other commercial transportation drivers in the state of Wisconsin.
Statement concerning NBC 15’s treatment of news pertaining to the number of sex offenders currently found driving in Madison WI for Uber and Lyft
Today (8-24-2017) www.ridesafeworld.com presented evidence at the Wisconsin state capital during a press conference covored by NBC15.
This evidence concludes without a doubt that convicted sex offenders ARE in fact driving for Uber and Lyft CURRENTLY through out Wisconsin.
Here is NBC15’s segment following the press conference today:
NBC 15 slashed the entire notice to the public of sex offenders CURRENTLY driving for Uber and Lyft in Madison out of the story to shoe in a fake argument that the companies might leave if their drivers ever had to comply with fingerprint background checks.
When Boston Mandated actual background checks on them they didn’t leave. They complied and 8000 of their drivers failed the new system.
They are still in Boston, they simply don’t have sex offenders and people who gang rape children driving for them, LIKE MADISON WISCONSIN DOES RIGHT NOW.
The uphill battle to make sure rideshares are even insured is going to be hard enough over the coming years if it doesnt bankrupt the auto insurance industry and take the rest of the country with it.
ALL Ride Safe wanted to do today was TRY to get the word out to lessen the chances that someone’s child ends up in one of these vehicles.
Instead they just compounded the problem for Wisconsin residents.
Saira Anwer (NBC 15 reporter who covered this segment) Lied. She said she was going to be responsible with the information and reporting it when she spoke with Justin La Plante (Ride Safe administrator) after this press conference.
She cut everyone offering evidence out of the segment AND the written article.
She then compounded the EXACT same propaganda argument that Uber and Lyft force on the media to scare customers into thinking a simple background check would destroy rideshare business.