Sen. Robert Martwick

SPRINGFIELD — Thanks to a new law championed by State Senator Robert Martwick, rideshare companies will be subject to the same standard of care as all other transportation companies.

“As rideshare companies become an integral part of modern transportation, we must demand the same high standards of care as we do for traditional carriers,” said Martwick (D-Chicago). “Holding companies accountable for the actions of their employees is about safeguarding every passenger who places their trust in these services.”

Under the new law, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are subject to the common carrier doctrine, which holds transportation companies to the highest standard of care for their passengers. This allows the state to hold the company liable if an employee causes harm to a passenger through intentional means such as assault, or if a driver is intoxicated and causes an accident.

Previously, transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft were exempt from the common carrier doctrine, leaving victims with few means to hold the companies liable for harm caused by their drivers. Between 2017 and 2020, there were almost 14,000 reports of sexual assault from Uber and Lyft passengers, with 824 reported rapes.

“As we embrace innovation, we shouldn’t forget about safety,” Martwick said. “Today we reinforce the notion that safety is non-negotiable for every individual using rideshare services, which is paramount in preserving the trust and peace of mind of all who seek reliable transportation.”

House Bill 2231 was signed into law Friday.