BEHIND THE BADGE

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December 03, 2018

How to Be Safe While Using Ride-Hailing Services

Ride-hailing services, which provide transportation from an unlicensed taxi service (i.e., Uber or Lyft), have become popular in the last five years. Typically, individuals reserve a ride from a private driver through their smartphone via a GPS system. Many consider this more convenient and a preferable means of alternative transportation. However, as the number of attempted kidnappings and safety altercations related to these services continue to rise, it is vital that users are more aware than ever.

Although safety concerns might not be your first thought as you enter your Uber or Lyft vehicle, it is important to always be vigilant. The rider should make sure they are getting into the correct vehicle by verifying the name and photo of the driver, as well as the license plate of the car. Once in, and before the vehicle starts moving, it would be wise to check if the child’s lock has been engaged (to help prevent kidnapping).

Uber and the South Florida Sun Sentinel each provided a list of rider safety tips, on their respective websites, to inform riders of extra precautions that increase safety. Both Uber and Sun Sentinel recommend passengers:

  • Follow your intuition and use Uber’s 911 feature if you feel in danger or threatened.
  • Request your ride from a secure location [preferably indoors].
  • Always try riding with a friend and/or share your trip details with a friend.
  • Be a backseat rider, particularly if riding alone.
  • Buckle up in case of any accidents.
  • Give feedback on the trip.

For more tips, please visit the Florida Sheriffs Association’s Crime Prevention Tips