No thanks to the recent untoward incidents that keep happening to riders of e-hailing apps, the public has lost confidence in the safety of these rides. To combat this, the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has come up with a solution for this particular problem.
The Sun Daily reports that they will require these apps to create an SOS button to be incorporated inside the mobile application. This button would allow passengers to connect directly to the law enforcement and raise the alarm if they feel that they are in danger. Don’t need to make emergency phone calls!
Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah, CEO of SPAD says, “This is something we would like to see all new and existing e-hailing providers do as soon as possible even before the law which allows us to regulate them comes into place.”
This button is actually not a new feature, as it is already put into practice by Uber in India but SPAD feels that incorporating it in Malaysia would help reassure riders and increase the safety measures of these apps. Azharuddin also said that they had a meeting with Uber, who agreed to add the panic button in their app and will be having a similar meeting with Grab.
In addition, Azharuddin says that they want these ride-hailing providers to perform stricter background checks on potential drivers such as psychometric testing or behavioural checks.
“Another thing that we would require these e-hailing providers to do is for them to share all their drivers’ details with the commission so that we can conduct another round of checking with the relevant authorities,” he said.
According to Utusan, he hopes this important information will be shared with SPAD before the laws to regulate these service providers come into place in July, otherwise the e-hailing operators would be held responsible if found breaking the law.
He commented on the recent slew of events involving the e-hailing drivers and said that they would leave the investigations in the hands of the police before deciding to take further action such as blacklisting them from becoming taxi or e-hailing drivers.
Sure hope this means that we can continue taking our rides with peace of mind now!
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