Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft are incredibly popular but are they more dangerous and discriminatory than people realize?

Recently, an Uber driver in Denver, CO got into an argument with a passenger and opened fire, ultimately killing the passenger.

There was a case in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2016 where a different Uber driver killed six people and wounded two others.

Four months ago, an Uber driver in Indianapolis kicked a lesbian couple out of his car for kissing and a month later, a Lyft driver in New York did the same.

In fact, this even happens internationally, as a gay couple in England recently dealt with this same bigotry.

All of this begs the question: exactly what is the background check system Uber and Lyft use?

It seems like whatever it is, it is not very thorough.

These drivers are independent contractors who simply give Uber and Lyft a cut of their earnings.

They are not technically employees.

So how can you feel safe getting into a car with one of these drivers?

You do not know anything about them, they have not been properly vetted, and anything can happen when you get into their vehicles.

It feels like getting an Uber or Lyft is no more safe than hitchhiking.

This is worrisome not only for people like me who travel often, but also those who live in cities and predominately rely on Uber to get them around because they do not own cars.

Investigations need to be done about Uber’s vetting process quickly and changes need to be made.

This kind of insanity has already happened too many times and if it is not fixed in short order, it will happen again.

And just as important, something needs to be done by these companies about discrimination.

Nobody should ever be denied service because of their race, gender, creed, or sexual orientation.

These incidents need to be rectified and if Uber and Lyft will not reprimand the drivers and be more diligent about screening them out in the first place, local governments need to step in.

Vulnerable minorities should not have to suffer because of the greed and laziness of these ride sharing companies.

It is time that we, as a society, make sure that the proper steps are taken.

Our local, state, and federal officials need to look into this and take the necessary steps to rein Uber in.

Not to mention local and federal governments internationally in other countries where Uber and Lyft are allowed to operate.

It is already too late for the passengers in Denver and Kalamazoo.

And the discrimination used by some drivers can also not be dealt with retroactively.

However, we must not wait until it is too late for even more people in various other locations.

Nobody else needs to die or be marginalized because of carelessness and lack of proper accounability.

Let’s be diligent here, so that none of us ever have to read about stories like these again.