Mike Pinckard, president of Total Transit, a parent company of Discount Cab, says it is a matter of public safety.
“We’re going to survive no matter what happens, but there are a lot of small independent operators who make their living following the rules, following the law, protecting the public like they’re supposed to. And somehow we’re going to make them pay?”
Pinckard and a group of insurance and banking industry leaders have worked with Sen. John McComish, R-Ahwatukee, to propose an amendment that would require rideshare companies to provide insurance coverage at all times that a driver is on the job but would give the companies different options as to how to purchase that insurance. The amendment would require Uber to conduct drug tests and criminal and driver’s license background checks.
Uber currently insures drivers with $1 million policies, but only from the time the driver accepts a pickup to the time the driver drops off the passenger.
That means a driver who is working on the road but has not yet received a request for a ride is not insured by the company unless the driver’s personal insurance denies the claim, in which case Uber provides its contingent policy. The issue became especially heated nationwide after a 6-year-old girl was killed in a crosswalk by a driver logged into the Uber app in San Francisco on New Year’s Eve. The girl’s family contends that Uber is financially responsible because the driver was waiting for customers. Uber says it isn’t liable because no passengers were in the car.
Uber opposes the McComish amendment.
“The McComish amendment was a back room rush job, void of any industry or public input. It destroys thousands of entrepreneurial jobs in Arizona, slashes income opportunities for Arizona’s rideshare drivers, limits consumer choice and effectively shuts down uberX in our state,” spokeswoman Lane Kasselman said.