BENGALURU : The shocking incident of the rape of a 25-year-old woman in a cab in Delhi has brought into sharp focus the safety aspect.
While it has made regular cab users in the city apprehensive, the city police say they will ensure safety measures.
Speaking to Express, Harishekaran, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime), said, “Adequate precautionary measures are in place. On Monday, we will review if any more safety checks are required. We will implement whatever steps are necessary to prevent such crimes in the city.”
Uber, the taxi service used by the victim, has steadily gained popularity because of the ease of booking as well as competitive fares. Other radio taxi services like TaxiForSure, Ola Cabs and Meru are fiercely competing in a market that is growing every day.
In such a situation, the Delhi incident raises questions about the safety of passengers who use these cabs. Despite tracking mechanisms and driver details being shared with the commuter, the issue of background checks took centrestage on Sunday.
Uber India on Sunday released a statement, which said that the company worked with registered drivers who had undergone the licensing process and hold ID cards issued by the government. This step enabled the company to share details of the driver immediately with the authorities.
The statement, however, did not mention mandatory police checks that Uber would require from drivers. However, in the United States, Uber drivers undergo multiple checks before ferrying passengers.
TaxiForSure, another taxi booking service, on Sunday tweeted that police verification was very much a part of its pre-hiring checks and that every cab was monitored for the time taken to complete trips with deviations flagged.
These measures, while useful, need to be implemented strictly to ensure a safe atmosphere, commuters feel.
That the driver of the Delhi cab made an easy getaway by switching off the phone that contained the app is alarming, they say. “Before this incident, I used to take the cab alone at all times of the day and night. I used to think that the details of the driver and the cab tracking facility were enough for me to stay safe. But now I am concerned as to how drivers are hired,” said Papiya N, an advertising professional.