Kilmartin proposes fingerprinting Lyft, Uber and taxi drivers

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s attorney general wants to start fingerprinting Uber and Lyft drivers, as well as traditional taxi cab drivers.

The state last year adopted a new law that officially legalized ride-hailing app companies and regulates them, but it didn’t include a fingerprinting requirement after Uber and other companies objected.

Now, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, a Democrat, has introduced legislation to require prospective drivers to go through a national criminal records check.

Kilmartin says his proposal treats everyone the same and ensures public safety.

Uber says it opposes Kilmartin’s bill. The New England Livery Association supports it.

Neighboring Massachusetts began running Uber and Lyft drivers through stringent background checks this year, designed in part to bar registered sex offenders from driving. Connecticut is also considering a fingerprint requirement in pending legislation.