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Nov 23, 2016 9:29 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Pushes Stricter Background Checks For For-Hire Drivers

Nov 29, 2016 12:08 PM

Southampton Town officials want to require all drivers employed by private livery companies, including Uber and Lyft, to submit to mandatory fingerprint testing, citing growing concerns for the safety of their customers.

The Town Board has scheduled a public hearing for Tuesday, December 13, on the proposed change to a local law that, if adopted, would make the fingerprinting mandatory for all drivers when applying for an operator’s license in the municipality. The update would require that all drivers submit their fingerprints to the town regardless of whether they already obtained a vehicle-for-hire license from Suffolk County. Taxi drivers employed in the town already have to submit to fingerprint testing.

“It all comes down to public safety,” Town Councilman Stan Glinka said last week. “Over the past year to 18 months, there’s been a lot of criticism nationwide about the safety of Uber in particular. That was really one of the forefronts of this effort.”

Representatives of Uber did not return an email seeking comment.

Under the existing code, an app-based driver must pay annual fees that total $1,000 as they are considered livery operators by the town. They must also work through a registered business, for which there is an owner’s license that costs $750. Additionally, they must pay a $150 fee for every vehicle used, and a $100 fee for every driver employed. The fee schedule is similar to what taxi companies already pay to operate in the town.

Mr. Glinka said he recently sat down with town and police officials to go over the code and see where it could be improved—a discussion, he said, that prompted the push for stricter background checks for private for-hire companies. The councilman added that the next step will be to try and get the villages and hamlets in Southampton Town to adopt similar changes to have a more “unified” impact on the East End.

The meeting on December 3 begins at 1 p.m. in Southampton Town Hall.

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All drivers should be checked as they are taxi drivers.
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Nov 23, 16 10:29 AM
1 member liked this comment
It should be done at the state level. Why have every municipality in the state come up with their own rules and regs? Just plain stupid.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Nov 23, 16 12:22 PM
It's a Jay-Scam, pure and simple. I *never* agree with Chief1, but he's right about this being a duplication of the NYS Chauffeur's (Class E) License.

I find it difficult to understand how this is any kind of priority for our Town Government.

By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Nov 23, 16 10:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
One better, if you already have a Hazmat on your CDL and want to drive hack for some extra coin that should be exempt too.

Cleared by USDOT to haul nuclear waste, but not to operate a cab in Southampton Town. R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Nov 25, 16 5:14 PM
If they have a chauffers license from the state all is solved.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Nov 23, 16 2:28 PM
Ok Stan, this is the new plan: For every new regulation, you must get rid of two old ones.So, which two are you proposing to eliminate?
By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on Nov 23, 16 3:35 PM
These are laws, not regulations.

Back to civics class for you.
By AngelaGomez-Caldone (16), on Nov 23, 16 8:04 PM
And I'm supposed to be impressed?
By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on Nov 23, 16 11:39 PM
Hey, if you need a license to drive a cab, you need it. CAB, Uber same thing.
Get a real life... Legal? Illegal?
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Nov 25, 16 6:19 PM
Town should not be involved finger printed IGuess the banks can hire them.
By Obserever (40), Southnampton on Nov 27, 16 2:55 PM
Another example of goverment fixing a problem that doesn't exist.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Nov 28, 16 10:41 PM