After a seven-hour long fatal shooting spree by an Uber driver in Kalamazoo, Michigan, many are still concerned with Uber’s driver vetting process.
Uber confirmed that the man suspected of killing six people and injuring two others was their 45-year-old driver Jason Dalton, who was on the clock during the time of the shootings.
Several passengers contacted Uber to complain about his driving, including one who called 9-1-1 to report Dalton’s behavior as “dangerous and erratic,” according to an Uber chief security officer.
However, the San Francisco-based company said Dalton had passed Uber’s background check and had nothing in his record to cause any alarm or concern.
While Uber does have ways for riders to contact a 24/7 support line (after the ride ends), it doesn’t offer a way for other drivers (sharing roadways) or pedestrians to report erratic driving.
A 1-800 How’s My Driving driver observation service could provide real-time information about drivers’ actions. This would allow a direct line of contact for regular citizens to report inappropriate and dangerous driving behaviors ahead of time allowing Uber to respond to a dangerous situation quicker and in a real-time basis. The more perspectives and reports available, the more accurate Uber can be when rating and profiling their drivers.
Similar to commercial fleets, a 1-800 bumper sticker program provides a cost-effective solution with real-time information about drivers’ behaviors, allowing companies to easily identify drivers with multiple complaints before accidents occur.
Dalton had no prior criminal history, which emphasizes the need to have a better way to monitor behaviors in order to address complaints immediately and identify dangerous drivers that Uber may be unaware of.