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Feb 23, 2016 6:07 PM

Landrigan: Uber officials making case for statewide regulation even as nationally company reels from Kalamazoo tragedy


GOFFSTOWN - Uber officials pressed their case for statewide legislation to create one standard of regulation for ride-sharing days after the company faced the tragedy of a serial murder allegedly committed by one of its drivers.

"Safety is really important to our country and in addition to our background check and screening process, we have a number of built in safety features," said Cathy Zhou, general manager of New Hampshire for Uber.

Uber officials clearly getting out in front of the horrific serial murder allegedly committed by Jason Dalton, a 45-year-old Uber driver in Kalamazoo, MI.

Using a statewide seminar today, they try to make the case for replacing town by town ordinances with a system of standardized rules for the industry in all of New Hampshire.

"We are very much supportive of sensible ride sharing regulations; in fact 26 states have already passed a statewide regulatory framework," Zhou says. Gov. Maggie Hassan says she’s open to the bill.

"We have to do it a way that our state Department of Safety is working with Uber to make sure that we are protecting the safety of the public and also that we are making sure that we are protecting Uber drivers and other employees," Hassan cautioned.

But the two-term governor agrees the Uber business model is the wave of the future.

"Safety and worker protections have to be strong considerations but we also know that the American economy is changing and as it is changing we need to be able to change with it," Hassan adds.

Chief Political Correspondent Kevin Landrigan sums up: "In politics timing is everything and obviously supporters of Uber are hoping this Kalamazoo tragedy doesn’t jeopardize their legislation."

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