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Uber cracks down on safety

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Uber cracks down on safety

Frankie Rizzo feeling safe using the Uber app

Frankie Rizzo feeling safe using the Uber app

Lara Del Vecchio

Frankie Rizzo feeling safe using the Uber app

Lara Del Vecchio

Lara Del Vecchio

Frankie Rizzo feeling safe using the Uber app

By Lara Del Vecchio, Photo Editor

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Uber’s old restrictions, new limitations and a statement made by their CEO should ensure Uber riders’ safety and security during their trips. These new regulations should give riders more reassurance, especially if they were hesitant to ride in the past.

Uber has had guidelines since the company was founded in March 2009, but just recently began to strictly enforce and to regularly update their policies, making Uber more secure. Increases in discrimination and fraud, and questionable quality and safety called attention to these problems. These behaviors were unacceptable according to CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, so he took immediate action. The failure to adhere to Uber’s policies will result in the immediate loss of access to riders’ and drivers’ accounts. The threat of losing the ability to use the app as a whole encourages both riders and drivers to respect the policies and promise a pleasant Uber experience.

Federal and local laws always apply to drivers and their passengers. Anyone using Uber is expected to comply with laws regarding phone and seat belt use, maximum number of passengers, the consumption and presence of alcoholic beverages and all traffic laws.

“If an uber driver is following these laws accordingly, it is equally as safe as driving with a family member or friend because they are required to follow the exact laws, except you just have to pay them,” junior Dylan Murphy said.

The company added several new improvements to double down on safety in their app. They strengthened their screening process, added a safety center and a 911 integration pilot. The new trusted contacts feature allows trip details to be shared with users’ phone contacts, so riders can pick friends and family to track their Uber rides. The company also expanded their safety advisory board as a whole and is more strict about ensuring all riders are 18.

Uber’s new additions ensure rider and driver safety, but the newly enforced requirement to be 18 is controversial among young drivers. Many feel opposed to the requirement to be of age and are angered by the company’s new tactic.

“I am 18 so this rule does not really apply to me,” senior Mike Bohrer said. “But I used Uber for a long time before I was 18, and it was extremely helpful and would be inconvenient for me if they enforced this rule in the past.”

Not all drivers enforce policy the same and depending which of the thousands of Uber drivers you land upon, some may be more strict than others. Certain drivers may be lenient with age guidelines because they are making money regardless and minors riding in their cars just adds to their paychecks. Other drivers may be more strict because they do not want to be held responsible for minors and want to successfully enforce Uber’s restrictions.

“I think if your parents allow you to use Uber, then it should not be required that you are 18,” junior Emily Holleuffer said. “It is their Uber account, so they should have a say in whether or not they allow their kids to use it.”

Even though many young riders feel it is unnecessary for Uber to require riders to be 18, the effort being made by both drivers, and the company as a whole, emphasizes their concern for the safety of their riders.

Behind the Byline
Lara Del Vecchio, Photo Editor

Lara Del Vecchio is Photo Editor for the 2018-2019 Wessex Wire. She competitively dances and enjoys spending quality time with her fellow dancers, school...

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