On May 21, we were shocked by the story of a lady in Puchong, KL, who suffered a miscarriage as a result of the trauma experienced when robbed during her Uber ride. The victim, Wong Mei Yan, 26, wanted to go home but the driver took a different route despite her protestations. Mei Yan was threatened with a sharp knife by a passenger who was seated in the front seat and was robbed of her valuables. The poor lady was then left in the middle of the road after the robbery.
According to the report, Mei Yan acknowledged the existence of another passenger who was sitting in front but didn’t ask anything until the driver drove her through a different route. The passenger turned out to be the driver’s accomplice who participated in the robbery. The trauma caused her to have a miscarriage where she lost her baby. Mei Yan is planning to sue the e-hailing company for negligence and also for the lack of customer service offered to her after the event.
Another case that also grabbed the attention of many is that of a Grab car driver who is currently on trial, accused of raping his passenger at 4am. The case, happening a month after Mei Yan’s trauma, has raised some questions in the public mind. Are Uber and Grab safe? And what can we, as passengers do if we were faced with this situation?
While we are not able to control what may happen, we can certainly learn how to be prepared. For example, before entering your Uber/Grab car, check the ‘Safety Child-Lock’ button that is usually located at the lower portion of the door itself. Make sure it is unlocked because if it is not, the driver can keep you “locked” in his car.
You must also check the car first before going in. If you see someone else other than the driver, do not get into the car. Unless you are sharing your ride through the app (both Uber and Grab), don’t get into that car. Decline your ride and send a report through the app about the issue.
Another step you must take before accepting the ride is to check the ratings of your driver. Always go for drivers with 4 stars and above. This will not only ensure your safety but also guarantee a safer ride. It is also advisable not to opt for this service alone at night.
We want to encourage the expansion of e-hailing taxi service, as it has made public transportation so convenient and a boon for commuters. However, it is important to keep our wits about us here, as anywhere else in the world. So do pay heed to the safety tips above.