Press Release and Information for St. Patrick’s Day SAFETY STRIKE March 17. Sharing is caring.
For Immediate Release, Los Angeles, 3 March 2022
Uber and Lyft drivers are striking on St. Patrick’s Day. Why? Gig companies are failing to keep Drivers and Riders Safe
Available data in some cities suggest drivers are getting caught up in a surge of carjackings, murders, rapes and other violent crimes.
“Horror stories appear in the media daily, but the CEOs of these companies are not stepping up to combat the problem. They are failing drivers and riders alike, says Driver Advocate, Torsten Kunert, also known as the Rideshare Professor on Youtube.
To bring awareness to SAFETY, drivers are organizing Strikes and Protests worldwide on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. All Driver Apps off ! Hopefully Riders will also join drivers projecting this message. Priority number one for all rideshare companies is to keep Drivers and Passengers safe. #DriverandRiderSafety
“We urge all rideshare, taxi and limo drivers to participate. Let’s send a crystal clear message here. We are sick and tired of your empty promises to keep drivers and riders safe. It’s time to act now so lives can be saved” says the Rideshare Professor.
Drivers are doing what they can to protect themselves. Some are avoiding nights, some only pick up passengers from the airports, and others have taken to wearing bulletproof vests or arm themselves with guns.
Drivers usually go through background checks, including getting screened for criminal history when they sign up. They are often required to take selfies on the job to prove that they are the ones driving. Passengers, however, can create accounts using false names since the apps don’t require them to disclose their identities.
“It’s just not fair that these companies show our faces to customers and we can’t see their faces,” says Kunert.
Lenny Sanchez, the Illinois director of the Independent Drivers Guild, a driver-run group said “It’s an absolute crisis,” keeping drivers from coming back to work.
Torsten, The Rideshare Professor says “Unlike drivers, they aren’t required to upload photos, which makes it easier for criminals, carjackers and wrongdoers to pose as passengers or misuse existing accounts. If they are kicked off the platform they are back the next day using a new account and a pre-paid card. This is unacceptable and Uber and Lyft are doing nothing about it. In the meantime more drivers die each and every day.
Fact is, customer background checks are used in other industries. Home-sharing giant Airbnb Inc. requires U.S. travelers to upload IDs and checks their information against criminal databases and sex-offender registers.
Uber and other rideshare companies should create a system of checks and balances to ensure drivers don’t have criminal records or a history of sexual harassment — and make sure it is actually enforced. “With a treasure trove of data at their disposal, there is no reason for firms to permit drivers on their platforms who have a history of offences. Companies can also make absolutely clear to passengers that are abusing drivers in any way will not be tolerated and will get them quickly banned.
Women who drive are at particular risk. Many female drivers and men carry some form of protection, such as mace or even handguns. This is against the rules for Uber and Lyft drivers, but drivers say it’s us, or them.
Judah Bell, 48, of Vallejo, California, drives for Uber and said the company seems to favor passenger safety over driver safety. She said she’s been the victim of some form of assault or harassment “at least 20 times” in about four years of driving. “For a passenger to put their hand between my legs is not uncommon,” Bell said
The companies say they have a trust and safety team available 24/7 for emergencies and a dedicated critical response line to immediately reach specially trained experts on the phone. Uber’s new safety features aim to stop murders, kidnappings and other crimes, but the in-app 911 feature has failed on numerous occasions say drivers.
Dashcams are a must for every driver. If you know the majority of vehicles you get into have a camera monitor, your behavior as a passenger or driver will likely be better.” says Kunert.
“The combination of dashcams, rider ID photos, real names, new enhancements within the app for safety and people being aware of their surroundings and making sure they’re getting into the right vehicle is very important.” “For drivers who feel uncomfortable with their passenger, I encourage them to stop and end the ride,” The Rideshare Professor says.
Building trust in rideshare companies is going to be Uber’s and Lyft’s biggest challenge. Drivers are leaving in droves. “Unless safety and better pay are addressed, the drivers will not return” Kunert says.
Contact: Torsten Kunert (Youtube Influencer on Rideshare Professor)
VENMO @Torsten-Kunert Any contributions to Press Release with Newswire
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