In New Jersey rideshare drivers may soon have to disclose prior sexual misconduct history

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Male rideshare driver picks up female customer.
Male rideshare driver picks up female customer.

When you get into a rideshare vehicle with a stranger in New Jersey, you have no idea what their criminal past or sexual misconduct history is. Under a bill being pushed by state Democrats, that soon could change.

New Jersey State Senator Linda Greenstein has introduced legislation that would require transportation network companies (TNCs) to share information concerning a driver’s history of sexual misconduct in order to hold ride-sharing drivers accountable for their actions.

“Today’s vote is a crucial step in the ongoing work to help improve passenger safety on ride-share by leveraging accountability,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Middlesex/Mercer). “With this legislation in place, we can keep bad actors out of the drivers’ seat and make sure ride-share remains a trusted and safe method of transportation.”

As a result of the bill, S-1634, applicants to TNCs will have to disclose their previous experience working with other TNCs and whether they have been the subject of any sexual misconduct investigations in relation to said previous role. TNCs would be authorized to ban drivers from accessing their digital network if the driver is the subject of an ongoing investigation of sexual misconduct allegations arising out of his or her work as a TNC driver or if a completed investigation of sexual misconduct found the driver guilty.

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The bill would require TNCs to inform other registered TNCs in the State if a driver receives an allegation of sexual misconduct. It would be the TNC’s responsibility to report if the allegation escalates into a criminal investigation, as well as the ultimate findings of any investigation conducted.

By a vote of 5-0, the bill was released from the committee.