Of late, there’s been numerous unsavoury incidents reported when it comes to taxis and e-hailing services. Although e-hailing rides tend to be safer than regular taxis in many aspects, it certainly does not stop crime from taking place anyway.
Thankfully, Grab Malaysia has come up with the brilliant idea of installing an emergency hotline in their own application among other safety initiatives! In short, you can now look out for these 3 new features:
- Emergency SOS button
- An eagle-I CVR in-car dash cam
- Telematics programme
New Straits Times reported that Grab users can now press the emergency button in the mobile application and it will immediately send an alert to the Malaysia Emergency Response Service (MERS 999).
Grab will log all the outgoing calls to connect the authorities with the passenger who is in distress.
Aside from this button, Sean Goh, Country Head of Grab, told the press that safety is key to him and his team. He said,
“Safety has always been a priority for Grab. It is the foundation of how and why Grab came to be.
“In fact, according to a passenger poll conducted, eight out 10 women feel safer booking a ride with Grab than other transportation.”
“However, we are acutely aware that we are far from being perfect, and there is so much more room for us to improve ourselves as we continue to grow, serve and transport more people across Malaysia.
“We recognise that many Malaysians are using ride hailing services to get around, and we are pleased that Grab responded to our request to include the emergency button in their app.
“We appreciate their forward thinking by going the extra mile to include other initiatives such as in-car cameras and telematics programme, for the safety and convenience of their passengers and drivers.”
A telematics system is basically a tracker for vehicles. With this feature, Grab can track the cars themselves and not just the phone’s GPS.
However, the Land Public Transport Comission (SPAD) CEO, Mohd Azharuddin worries about the abuse of this button.
“We hope the introduction to MERS 999, passengers will use the function responsibly.”
Besides that, even the government encouraged the use of e-hailing apps as they too believe it is safer. Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri from the Prime Minister’s Department said,
“Safety is a joint community effort to work and all parties involved must work closely to introduce a holistic set of safety measures for the public.”
After the announcement of Grab and Uber being legal in Malaysia, taxi drivers have finally lost their long battle. According to The Star, it is now an offence to assault, hinder or obstruct the e-hailing business and customers.
If convicted of this crime, the person has to pay a RM1,000 fine or can be subjected to a maximum of 3 months in jail, or both.
With these safety measures in place, let’s hope the crime rates will plummet!
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