By Naina Sharma
GLOBAL PERIL OF CAB DRIVERS
Incidents of cab drivers acting as assailants, raping or kidnapping passengers is not only common in India but on the foreign land as well. An Uber driver in the city of Florida was recently arrested for indulging in rape and kidnapping of his female passenger. The driver, who was 57 had centrally locked the car doors even before the passenger tried to jump out.
In similar incidents in India, there have been multiple cases where women have been raped or sexually assaulted by cab drivers. If not that, cab drivers tend to tease passengers by saving their numbers in the contact list and then they end up calling or texting the passengers at odd hours.
The threat isn’t restricted to women alone, quite recently, on July 6, it was a 29-year-old doctor in Delhi who was kidnapped by an Ola driver and his accomplices. He was kept in hiding for a period of 2 weeks post which the police arrested the Ola driver along with other kidnappers.
ANALYSIS OF THE EXISTING PROCEDURES
Since I am a regular rider myself, the curiosity bug within me compelled me to question Ola/ Uber drivers daily about what exactly were the requirements which they had to meet in order to become an Ola/ Uber driver. Ola drivers mostly stated the presence of a driving license as an imperitive while the Uber drivers said it is quite simple to become a Uber driver in the Indian capital. They said that the only requirement essentials for them were their driver license and manageable english speaking skills. There were no background checks involved and a single ID proof along with a few passport sized photographs was more than enough to start driving the Uber cabs.
MANDATORILY STRICTER HIRING PROCESS
The fact that there are hardly any drivers’ licenses which get cancelled in India despite criminal records, there arises a requirement to have a peripheral check. Perhaps, the need of the hour lies in conducting a transparent and multi level hiring process of the cab drivers as a few pointers need to be freshly adhered to-
- A proper medical checkup analysing the mental state of the applicant is a must as it would ensure minimization of mentally unstable drivers. This is essential since a considerable proportion of rape and molestation cases are triggered through a sick mindset.
- Examining the habits of the applicant is also essential and if there are even the slightest of implications of him being a frequent drinker or stoner, then the job application must be rejected at the earliest possible instance.
- A background check which refers to a family scan pertaining to a cross examination of members/ relatives and if there is a police case running against any of their names.
Meanwhile, as passenger safety continues to haunt customers as a key issue, the cab companies have waived off an assurance towards adopting more stringent processes while signing up new drivers as it could have an adversely reverse impact on their business in the longer run.