Safety Tips for Online Cabs Services!

Reported Incident

A perverted Uber driver has been jailed for eight months for sexually assaulting a woman in his cab in London.

Samson Haile, 32, told his 26-year-old passenger that he wanted to have sex with her, before touching her inappropriately. The woman managed to flee the creep's cab on Cromwell Road and alert police.

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Later in the same evening he picked up a female off-duty police officer and also tried to talk her into sex.

 

When she filed a report the next day, cops linked it to the previous evening's sexual assault. They quickly identified and arrested Haile, expressing concern about the "rapid escalation" in his behavior.

"He went from talking about sex to actually touching a lone, vulnerable female in a very short space of time," said Detective Constable Carly Driscoll.

Haile, from Brentford in west London, was found guilty of sexual assault on Sept. 3 and hit with his jail sentence Wednesday.

He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order, prohibiting him from working as a private hire driver in England or Wales.

 

Phew! The figures are depressing. But we are not against mobile based cab booking apps. Before going ahead first, we need to answer some questions.

Background

Ever since the time mobile app based cabs booking services started taxi booking facility through smartphones, in all the major part of the World, the life of everyone has changed for good. Now cabs are easy to book and have great convenience of secure payment options. But there have been some incidents against drivers of taxis, booked through mobile-based cab booking apps.

Business on the move, riding a car.

Safety Tips for Online Taxi Booking

There are a lot of things that you, as a rider can do to stay safe. List of tips will help you stay safe while riding with online cab services:-.

1. Never take a taxi alone if you're drunk. If you’ve had too much to drink, it may seem like the right decision to get a cab – and it is, with someone else. If you’re drunk, the ride in the taxi may put you to sleep. The drink may also put you into a semi-conscious state – not the best circumstance to defend yourself from the driver, a partner the driver called, or anyone else who wants to harm you. Riders have been raped, beaten, robbed, and even killed after getting into a taxi when they’re helplessly drunk.

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If you’re drunk and need a ride, take a nondrunk buddy along with you and stay awake during the trip.

2. Before you request a ride, think about where you’re headed and review the safety features in the app, so you know how to use them.

3. Plan well in advance. Never book a cab in last minute haste. Always keep some time in hand so that while the booking gets confirmed and the car is on the way to pick up point, you have full details of the driver, you can do proper check before the car actually reach the pickup point.

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4. Call for a taxi instead of hailing one. Some independent taxi drivers work in partnership with thieves. The scam goes like this: the driver spots something valuable on your person (jewelry, a camera, a mobile device) and they text the thief with the route. Because the thief knows the taxi and the way, they only have to wait at a stoplight to open the door and snatch what’s yours.

Ask for the cab number when you speak with the dispatcher so you can be confident you’re getting in the right vehicle. Make sure the taxi number, or at least the company’s name and phone number, is visible on the car before you attempt to get in.

5. Check Route. If you are traveling alone, then it is critical that you see the probable route from your pick up point to the destination. If the road is passing through an isolated area, with no population, then please think again before boarding the taxi. Although the online app will show the shortest route (to save your money) but still no one can stop you from taking up the direction you want. If the driver insists on following path visible on the mobile app, then you need to take a call.

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6. Confirm the price and tipping range. Mobile app or driver can tell you the typical price range to your destination and the appropriate amount to tip. Having a good idea of what you need to pay – and confirming the price with the driver ahead of time can mean less hassle when it’s time to pay the bill.

7. Clothing. If the lady is traveling alone, then it is always a good option not to wear revealing clothes. You just cannot control the person sitting in the driver's seat, but you can definitely be careful. The character of a person is never written on anyone's forehead. Anyone can turn into the devil in the flip of a few seconds.

8. Take note of the driver’s rating on the app. Another feature of the app is a rating system that allows riders and drivers to rate each other. This system discourages any problem behaviors.

“The rating system encourages good behavior on both the passenger and the driver because the driver rates the passenger and the passenger rates the driver,” he says. “Both parties have good reason to behave themselves.”

Most of the mobile apps' safety team looks at rating information and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer questions and address concerns.

9. Verify the identity of the driver and their car before you board. The mobile apps provide riders with their driver’s first name, photo, license plate number and a picture of the vehicle and their driver's rating. This information is intended to prevent riders from getting in a car with a fake driver.

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“We encourage them to use all this information to verify the car and the driver before getting in,” Uber spokesperson Kayla Whaling tells USA TODAY College. “On the flip side, the driver also verifies the account holder by making sure it is the correct person.”

In case of regular taxis (not using mobile apps), all genuinely licensed taxi and minicab drivers’ vehicles are equipped with a meter (for determining the charge) and radio (for taking calls from the dispatcher). In nearly all countries, the taxi driver is required to carry and display their ID badge in the vehicle. If you don’t see a badge or a radio, do not get into the car.

Drivers are supposed to address the rider by name to further verify their identity. Also, the only way to request an official driver is through the app. Street hails are not allowed on the platform.

10. Keep expensive items hidden and safe. You may think very little of the cost related to some of your mobile devices, but in a developing country, a smartphone is easy to grab and even more comfortable to sell.

If you’re using a mobile device while waiting for the taxi or at a stoplight, you may think you're efficient, but you’re also flashing a target for potential thieves. All a thief needs are 20 seconds at the next stoplight to reach in and take it. You need to be very careful.

Store your cameras in your bags and zip them up. Then, keep your purse, backpack, or other bags close to you – preferably on the floor between your feet where they’re hard to see and even harder to reach. You can also place your leg through the longer straps. Just remember to untangle before you try to exit the taxi!

11. Sit in the backseat – not in the passenger seat. In the backseat, you’re less visible to the driver and to passersby as well. If you’re traveling solo, sitting in the middle puts you farther out of reach too. It gives you and your driver some personal space. The less accessible you are, the less likely you’ll be targeted.

Get car sick easily? Take a motion sickness pill from your travel medical kit instead

12. Never enter a taxi with someone else in the passenger seat. No matter what the reason they’re there, it can mean no good for you and it’s commonly a way that travelers get robbed, kidnapped, raped, and murdered.

13. Buckle Up. Seat belt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries related to car accidents.

14. Know where you’re going ahead of time. Have an idea where you’re going ahead of time, and approximately how long it will take to get there. You can quickly look this up online or on your smartphone, but be realistic about your knowledge of the area. While the taxi driver may know a better route or one that avoids toll booths if you’re headed the wrong way entirely feel free to get out at the first opportunity.

If you decide to abandon the taxi, toss money into the front seat (in case you’re mistaken) and all will be well. The taxi driver isn’t going to chase you down.

15. Keep in touch with Friends or Family. While the app gives riders the information they need to verify their driver’s identity, passengers are also able to notify their own contacts about their whereabouts in case of emergency. A rider can share their trip details, including the estimated time of arrival and specific route. A family member or a friend who received the link from the rider can actually see the car moving along the distance, and they can know when that person arrives.”

While en route, tap “Share status” in the app to share your driver’s name, photo, license plate, and location with a friend or family member. They can track your trip and see your ETA without downloading the mobile app.

16. Protect your personal information. There’s no need to share your phone number or other contact information with your driver. If a rider and driver need to contact each other, the then mobile app automatically anonymizes both phone numbers to protect everyone’s privacy.

17. Follow your intuition. Trust your instincts and use your best judgment when riding with Mobile app-based cab services. And if you ever feel you’re in an emergency situation, call 100 or relevant emergency numbers of that country, immediately.

18. Be kind and respectful. Respect your driver and his or her car.

19. Know your local currency. In some countries, the currency changes and unscrupulous drivers may return your change in discontinued or worthless bills. Know enough about the local money to identify the bills and coins you should use for payment.

If you aren’t sure, check with a local (your host or a hotel concierge can help you) before you enter the cab.

20. Know who to call in an emergency. If you’re in a foreign country, now the local equivalent of dialing 911 – this is why it’s good to keep your phone out of sight but handy.

21. Give feedback on your trip. Your feedback helps us improve the online mobile app's service for everyone. 24/7 global support team reviews feedback and will follow up with appropriate action on any reports of conduct that violate their community guidelines.

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Conclusion

Ensuring your safety is your responsibility. Once you board a cab booked through online service, then it is very difficult for someone to reach out for your help.

Once you are inside the taxi, the driver has full control over the door locking mechanism and can, therefore, cause any sort of harm to you and other passengers.

The above-mentioned safety tips will help you in ensuring a safe journey and happy experience, not once, but every time.

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