There’s no denying the fact that ride-sharing platforms like Uber and Ola have made daily commute a hassle-free affair in urban and semi-urban areas. However, these cab-hailing services always seem to be in the news for all the wrong reasons, the biggest being the questionable (and at times, rude and violent) behaviour of the drivers. News reports about cab drivers behaving inappropriately (and even molesting, in case of female passengers) with riders have become common these days. And if the latest incident is anything to go by, things are only getting worse.
According to a report by The News Minute, an Uber driver in Bengaluru was recently discovered to be inebriated by the passenger, who he had come to pick up from Kempegowda International Airport. Shortly after the ride had begun, the driver eventually fell asleep, forcing the passenger to get behind the wheel of the cab and drive himself home.
The passenger tweeted a picture of himself in the driving seat, with the driver passed out in the passenger seat, sharing the incident online with Uber. He also attached a screenshot of the ride’s details from the Uber app.
@Uber_India, the ride back from Bangalore airport was not quite what I expected. The driver was drunk and drowsy. I had to pull the car over to the side and I drove all the way home. Pic with the driver in the rider seat passed out.
You need to fix this @Uber , @Uber_Support pic.twitter.com/G7LB0caeTM
— Surya Oruganti (@suryaoruganti) September 9, 2018
Sometime later, the passenger tweeted that Uber safety team had responded to his complaint, stating that passengers shouldn’t be driving cabs due to security issues.
“Uber safety team promptly called back about 20 hours later. They said I shouldn’t drive a cab because that’s a safety issue. And that they’ll educate the driver whatever that means and might terminate the driver if there’s recurrence,” read the passenger’s tweet.
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It’s clear that the issue here are the drivers, who, especially in India, are notorious for driving like maniacs. While it’s not the case with all drivers, lack of thorough background checks leads to people with questionable (and even criminal) backgrounds ending up driving cabs for app-based cab-aggregator services, which in turn threatens the well-being of passengers.
Until platforms like Ola and Uber start vetting drivers (who also happen to be their business partners) properly, unfortunate incidents like these will continue to happen.