After reports emerged that a Bolt driver allegedly strangled and raped a passenger, the spotlight has been placed on e-hailing services and the safety and security of passengers.
What can passengers do to keep safe? How are e-hailing service companies ensuring the safety of passengers?
We list a few ways to improve your safety and security when using an e-hailing service.
Before requesting a ride
– Try to request your ride indoors and if possible, have someone see you off or know where you are going. This way you aren’t waiting outside alone and you can also tell when your ride is safely at the designated meeting point.
Before getting in the car
– Check your ride carefully. I know it is easy to just jump in the car especially if you are in a hurry, but it is always worth sweating the small stuff. Does the car make and model match with the one on the app? Is it the same number plate listed? Does the driver look like the profile photo?
– Ask the driver to lower their mask to be sure that the driver matches the in-app photograph. Yes, this is allowed as long as both driver and passenger comply with current Covid-19 regulations and wear their masks during the trip.
– You can also ask to check the boot as well as take any other reasonable measures to reassure your safety.
– If you are concerned for your safety, you can cancel a trip without any cost or penalty when the driver arrives to collect them.
When you get in the car
– Have the driver confirm your name instead of giving out your name from the get go. Say something along the lines of “Hello. Who are you here to pick up?” This way you aren’t giving out your name unless they confirm your name. Then, after confirming your name, ask for their name.
– Besides it being Covid-19 compliant, always sit in the back seat. This not only will help maintain a comfortable distance away, but is also safer.
– Don’t forget to share trip details with loved ones. This will ensure that someone else is aware of your whereabouts.
– As far as possible, only message or call the driver through the app. This anonymises your information between you and the driver.
– Do not ride alone if you’re not well. Either have a friend ride with you or wait until you feel better.
After your trip
– If you feel something was amiss or the driver was being inappropriate, report and give feedback.