martwick 050423SPRINGFIELD — Rideshare companies would be subject to the same care standards as all other transportation companies under new legislation introduced by State Senator Robert Martwick.

“It’s time we hold rideshare companies to the same standards as any other method of transportation,” said Martwick (D-Chicago). “As passengers of a bus, or a plane, or even an amusement park ride, you expect to get to your destination safely, that is why I am championing this change.”

The common carrier doctrine holds transportation companies to the highest standard of care to their passengers. This includes being able to hold the company liable if their employee causes the passenger harm, through intentional means such as assault, or if a driver is intoxicated and causes an accident.

Currently, transportation network companies, like Uber and Lyft, are exempt from the common carrier doctrine. This leaves victims with few means to hold the companies liable for harm caused by their drivers. Between the two largest companies, Uber and Lyft, between 2017 and 2020 there were almost 14,000 reports of sexual assault, with 824 reportedly being rapes. Martwick’s measure would subject such companies to the common carrier doctrine, holding them accountable for the safety of their passengers.

“Negligence is negligence, and it’s a victim’s right to hold companies liable,” Martwick said. “It’s only right to subject rideshares to the same standard as all other forms of transportation.”

House Bill 2231 passed the Senate on Thursday.