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Under pressure from cities, DoorDash steps up efforts to ensure drivers don’t break traffic laws

DoorDash said it has created a dedicated point of contact for the Boston PD to make it easier to process requests for drivers’ records

DoorDash Safety

FILE - A food delivery worker rides down a sidewalk after a pickup from a restaurant in New York on Jan. 29, 2024. DoorDash is stepping up efforts to stop delivery drivers who are breaking traffic laws. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, FILE)

Bebeto Matthews/AP

By Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Business Writer
Associated Press

BOSTON — DoorDash said Tuesday that it’s stepping up efforts to identify dangerous delivery drivers and remove them from its platform after a flood of complaints from cities.

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In a letter sent last month to DoorDash and other food delivery companies, Boston officials said they were seeing an increase in the unlawful and dangerous operation of motorcycles, mopeds and motorized scooters by delivery workers.

The city said riders were running red lights, traveling the wrong way on one-way streets, exceeding posted speed limits and driving on sidewalks.

San Francisco-based DoorDash said it has created a dedicated point of contact for the Boston Police Department to make it faster and easier to process requests for drivers’ records. The company said it would also consider removing drivers from the platform if police report they have broken traffic laws.

DoorDash said it was starting the effort in Boston but may expand it to other cities.

DoorDash said it’s also partnering with Boston and other cities to share guidance on vehicle registration requirements in multiple languages. It will also warn delivery workers about activities that break local laws, like driving on sidewalks.

“We will remind Dashers that failing to comply with local laws or our standards could lead to removal from our platform,” the company said.

Officials in Boston, New York and other cities have said that in many cases, drivers are using unregistered vehicles for deliveries. Some drivers may also share accounts, so a person with multiple traffic violations might be using a vehicle registered to someone else.

In New York, authorities have seized 13,000 scooters and mopeds so far this year that were unregistered or used to break traffic laws.

“They have terrorized many of our pedestrians, particularly our senior and older adults,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams said last month at an event where 200 motorized two-wheeled delivery vehicles were destroyed. “Riders who think the rules don’t apply to them, they’re going to see an aggressive enforcement policy that’s in place.”

In response, DoorDash said it will more frequently prompt drivers to submit a real-time selfie to prove their identity while they’re making deliveries. The selfie is then compared to previously submitted government identification.

DoorDash said it would remove drivers who fail to confirm their identities.

DoorDash wouldn’t say Tuesday how many drivers it typically removes from its platform each year for breaking traffic laws.