Uber drivers to undergo psychological assessment as Brussels eyes tighter screening

Uber drivers to undergo psychological assessment as Brussels eyes tighter screening
The announcements follows news that the ride-hailing company recorded nearly 6,000 reports of sexual harassment in the span of two years.© Mark Warner/Flickr

Regional authorities in Brussels have said that a new set of stricter regulations will aim to put the recruiting and monitoring of Uber drivers on par with those applying to taxi drivers.

The measures would aim to make safeguards and screening conditions mandatory for any candidates seeking to work with with the ride-hailing company, such as a psychological assessment to exclude potentially dangerous profiles.

The regulations would apply to the entire Brussels-Capital Region and were announced by regional Minister-President Rudi Vervoort after he was questioned in parliament about safety concerns regarding Uber, according to Bruzz.

Concerns about passenger security engulfed the global tech firm after releasing first-ever safety report, which recorded nearly 6,000 incidents of sexual assault and 464 reports of rape over a two year period.

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In Belgium, women took to social media to share accounts of sexual harassment or assault they lived through as Uber passengers, with one describing how a driver would only open the door for her in exchange for her phone number.

Vervoort said that making would-be Uber drivers undergo an assessment by an occupational psychologist “should exclude the most dangerous profiles of candidate drivers,” the outlet reports.

“Unlike taxi drivers, access to the FVO/LVC profession (hiring drivers operating private vehicles) is in no way regulated,” Vervoort said. “Therefore, my administration has no control whatsoever on the recruitment, training and possible suspension of FVO drivers.”

Current regulations regarding services like Uber in the Brussels-Capital Region also mean that authorities do not have access to the background of Uber drivers, leaving the screening procedures at the discretion of the ride-hailing company.

The new regulations would also aim to create a disciplinary committee to monitor the taxi sector, which would be composed of magistrates capable of intervening in the event of sexual assault by taxi drivers, Bruzz reports.

Vervoort said that his government would take a decision to implement the changes before January 2020.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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