Danger on the road: Cab users share assault experiences 

Danger on the road: Cab users share assault experiences 

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The arrest of a cab driver for molesting and trying to sexually assault a woman inside a locked car in Bengaluru has put the spotlight once again on the need for regulations for cab aggregators. 

As complaints continue to rise, Redditors from across the world shared their experiences of assault, stalking and unsolicited advances.

The thread was started by a user who talked about what she experienced for 'not sharing her phone number with the driver'.

"Last night I got a [cab] home from the bar. I was at with my boyfriend and friends. I was alone, and the driver seemed nice. We talked about bars we like, our jobs, and where we are from. Then he asked for my number so we could hang out. I didn’t give it to him. Today, I got a message saying I had been reported for inappropriate behaviour," (sic) the post read.

She was not the only one to face such issues. In response to the thread, many other women have come forward to share their experiences.

"I’ve never been reported before but something similar happened to me yesterday. I took a cab from home to work and the driver kept asking me personal questions such as what I do in my free time, who I live with, even information about my parents' marital status. I felt this was odd but maybe he was just socially awkward," read one of the posts.

"He (the driver) assumed I was drunk and asked, multiple times if we could pull over to have sex," said one poster.

"During one incident some guy purposely turned off the pool option and I was stuck in the car with him for over an hour (he went through gridlock traffic) and just tried telling me how he was a good lay," said another.

While for some, the harassment ended with the rides, others faced unfriendly advances for many days after the ride.

"I once had my ... driver stalk me. I was alone in the car just striking up a friendly conversation, and he was from the town that I worked in. When he said he was from here, I just nonchalantly said oh yeah I work at ‘workplace’ there! The next few weeks were awful. He showed up at my work...kept calling our phone. He stopped after about a month but still. I had our security guy walk me to my car every night cause he was so creepy."

"One night a friend and I got a taxi back from a bar, as usual, I had booked it on my phone. Anyway, the taxi driver was being a little creepy, but we just ignored him and made minimal conversation, however, he was getting worse and worse, and making really inappropriate comments. We were both pretty glad to get out of the taxi and go home. The following day, I got a text off a number I didn't have saved in my phone, basically saying he was the taxi driver from last night, and thought I was very attractive and wanted to go for a drink with me. Within about 5 minutes he had texted again, and again after that, being generally very creepy" (sic).

A few shared some horrific experiences and insensitive responses from the aggregators. "A driver attempted to assault my goddaughter and [cab aggregator]'s response was that it's against the rules for a 15-year-old to ride with [them]...yes, that was their actual, formal response to a (police) report against a potential child rapist." (sic)

Some were giving advice on how to deal with such embarrassing moments. Reporting the driver to the company for bad behaviour is the immediate solution that everyone resorts to. Though many argue that the aggregators will avoid sending the same driver (who is reported by the user), many felt that was not enough. 

"I am not 100% sure but I would bet if you complain about any .... driver they would never match your account up with that driver again. If you use a friend's phone number and a different credit card you may run the risk of getting that driver again."

Many felt that the companies should undertake better screening of drivers and sack them as soon as inappropriate behaviour is reported.

"It's against policy for a driver to flirt with customers. As soon as anything weird happens start recording. You don't need to point the camera, the conversation will do."

"I straight up lie about my interests and my weekend plans etc," one said.

The discussion was carried out in 'TwoXChromosomes subreddit' which discusses "both serious and silly content intended for women's perspectives."

*The names of cab aggregators have been removed*