Uber and Lyft drivers and Chicago are calling on the two rideshare companies to protect them from crime. This comes after seven drivers were carjacked on the Near North and Near Northwest sides of Chicago since late December 2020.
According to CBS 2, rideshare drivers have offered a number of suggestions to reduce the risk of carjackings, including working closer with police and making sure passengers verify their identity. Police have noted seven rideshare carjackings in the Wicker park and Bucktown areas.
Drivers are not the only ones calling on Uber and Lyft to improve security. Bryant Greening, an attorney with the Chicago-based firm Legal Rideshare provided the following statement: “Safety and rideshare is often focused on the passenger. It also needs to incorporate the driver. Requiring a photo would allow (drivers) to check to make sure that they’re picking up the right person; ensuring that phone numbers are linked to specific people [and] credit cards are linked to specific people. By not having certain basic requirements, it gives criminal the opportunity to take advantage of the system.”
While Uber did not reply to CBS 2, Lyft sent an email, letting them know they’ve been in touch with the Chicago Police Department and they’re ready to help: “Safety is fundamental to Lyft, and this type of behavior is not tolerated on the Lyft platform. We have removed the rider from the Lyft community, reached out to the driver to offer support and stand ready to assist law enforcement with any investigation. We’re closely reviewing these incidents and looking for additional ways we can help drivers, including permanently banning the accounts of users who engage in this type of behavior, preemptively taking action against users that we determine may be likely to do so in the future, and continuing to develop safety features to protect our community.”
In addition to its statement, Lyft has said it is making sure to deactivate carjackers’ accounts and that, in some instances, the driver will not be responsible for any insurance deductible. With the variation of state regulations, individuals claims are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, meaning drivers in other parts of the country or those with other insurance policies could be left to deal with an insurance deductible.
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