Authored By: Candace Whitman
Both Uber and Lyft’s policies state that riders must be 18 years or older to create an account, ride alone, and request rides; however according to a Legal Examiner article by Chris Nace of Paulson & Nace, recent investigations have discovered children as young as 8 years old using ride sharing services unaccompanied by an adult.
According to the companies’ policies, drivers are instructed to ask for a passenger’s age and/or identification if they suspect they are underage and unaccompanied by an adult. The drivers are required to cancel the ride upon discovering they are an unaccompanied minor. Some drivers are disregarding this rule and accepting underage passengers.
Many parents who allow their children to request rides on their own state that they feel comfortable allowing their children to ride alone because the companies perform background checks on their drivers; however, dangerous incidents can and have still occurred even with background check policies in place. Nace reports, “When Massachusetts enacted a new background check law in 2017, more than 1 out of every 9 rideshare drivers failed—including over 300 convicted felons and 51 sex offenders.”
Although services like Uber and Lyft are convenient and may seem safe, it is best for parents, children, and drivers to follow this important policy. Drivers should always deny rides to unaccompanied minors and parents should accompany their child on their ride or find an adult they know and trust to drive their child to their destination or accompany them on the rideshare, if they are unable to.
To read more about this important issue, click here to read Nace’s article.
Photo Credit: Ferli