Most signees in petition on Uber safety Bengalureans

Most signees in petition on Uber safety Bengalureans

Hail firm's decision to introduce background checks for its drivers

Most signees in petition on Uber safety Bengalureans

The recent announcement by Uber that it will introduce background checks for its drivers in India has been hailed as a victory for a petition on Change.org which was signed by almost 64,000 people, a majority of them from Bengaluru. The petition had urged the company to introduce the same checks in appointing drivers in India as in the US.

The petition was initiated by a woman named Alina Tiphagne on December 8, 2014, three days after a female passenger in Delhi accused an Uber driver of raping her.

Addressing the CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, the petition said, “A 25-year-old woman was raped by one of your drivers. This driver was a repeat offender and had spent seven months in Tihar jail in a sexual assault case. This is outrageous. If your company had run a background check and got police verification done, this crime could’ve been avoided. What’s worse, you have a three-step background check process in the US but not in India. These are double standards. I started the petition because I want you to stop the double standards and mandate a 7-year background check for all Uber drivers in India like in the US.”

Responding to the petition, Deval Delivala, Uber’s safety lead in India, stated that the company was introducing a host of safety measures for its cabs in the country.

To conduct background checks, Uber will engage local and global experts to evaluate and implement the most effective background screening solution across India, and pilot programmes are already running in select cities, including in Delhi, he added.

Police verification will be mandatory too.

Uber will ensure all its driver-partners in Delhi and elsewhere in India have an authentic and valid police verification. Besides, a local team of specially trained safety experts will detect fraud, verify and authenticate driver/vehicle documents and test the validity of Uber’s screening.

Customer support centre

In addition, an incident response team in the form of a local and dedicated customer support centre is being set up that will specialise in resolving critical issues for Uber riders and drivers in India, Delivala said.

Apart from the existing ShareMyETA button, which allows passengers to send complete trip details (including live GPS tracking, driver’s name, vehicle type and license number) to their loved ones, the enhancement will let them send the driver’s photo as well.

Commuting now easier

Tiphagne welcomed the announcement and hoped the cab service would become women-friendly. “Uber made daily commute easier for a lot of women and by introducing these safety measures the company has engaged with the demands of its customers. Uber is banned in some cities in India, including Delhi. But now I am confident that when they are back, they will have very specific security measures,” she said.
DH News Service

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