Few days after the Supreme Court directed the centre on Wednesday that the app-based transport service providers be regulated to ensure the safety of women commuters, a woman in Bangalore claimed that the safety button on Uber app is flawed. She reported that not only did the driver misbehave with her but also abandoned her in the middle of the road in the dark of Saturday night. The woman narrated the incident in a social media post, where she said that after reporting the driver’s misbehaviour, she was asked to abandon the trip by the customer care executive. Post this she was also assured a new cab by the customer care executive but she was left all alone and unassisted for 15 minutes on a not so busy road.
The Cab Driver Called Her A Slut
During her ride from HAL to Langford Road, at around 11 pm, Aparna Balachander tweeted that her driver said that women should leave their workplace before 7 pm. He also said that women should not hang out with their colleagues to drink after 9 pm. “He went on to call me a slut and started slowing down the cab. I got scared.” Aparna wrote in her tweet.
Hi guys, I need you all to take a minute and read my traumatic experience with the cab driver while taking a @Uber cab tonight! Help me spread more caution and awareness among women so that they don't go through what I did! @UberINSupport pic.twitter.com/DNm5o1sa7S
— Aparna Balachander (@thetambrahm_mam) August 3, 2019
Moreover, when she pressed the safety button on the Uber app, it was the driver who got a call from the authorities and not her. “The customer care executive responded asking me to get out of the cab and will book another one.” she said. The driver then asked her to get down.
She wrote, “Instead of calling me, they called the cab driver and, he started telling the customer care person that ‘I am extremely drunk’. At this point, I had no choice but to start screaming asking the customer care to listen to me. The woman on the call spoke to me and I cried begging her to help me. She told me to get out of the cab and that she will book me another one immediately. Meanwhile, this cab driver started threatening me with things like ‘I will tear your clothes if you don’t leave the cab now.”
No Proper Assistance By UBER On The Issue
The woman after addressing the issue on the social media handle Twitter and getting assurance by Uber for further help tweeted yesterday that she hasn’t received even a single call in order to assist her on the matter. She attached a screenshot of her conversation with someone from the customer care in Uber, saying that they couldn’t contact her.
@UberINSupport @Uber the entire day I haven't received a single call despite of following up with you about my traumatic experience. Why do I have to keep following up for something so serious ? #UnsafeUber #NotSoUber #Uber @PrParameswaran @travisk @dkhos pic.twitter.com/jUbTuLsk7b
— Aparna Balachander (@thetambrahm_mam) August 4, 2019
Supreme Court Suggested GPS-Linked Panic Buttons In Cabs
The Supreme Court had on Wednesday directed the government to consider framing laws in order to ensure the safety of women commuters using online cab services. A bench consisting of Justice SA Bobde, R Subhash Reddy, and B R Gavai suggested that the existing rule should be changed and that the app services should now be held accountable and should be regulated on the basis of new laws.
This isn’t the first time that a woman had to face difficulties because of a cab driver. Last year in November, Singer Vasundhara Das had filed a police complaint against a cab driver in a case of road rage. The driver allegedly followed her for more than 4 km in Bengaluru on October 29, according to a report in Times of India. Not only did he follow her, he reportedly blocked her way twice and shouted filthy abuses at her. According to the police complaint filed by Das, she had stopped her car at a traffic signal and was waiting for the lights to turn green. Meanwhile, the cab driver in a Toyota Etios had stopped on her left side and was waiting at the same signal to turn right. When the signal turned green, Das went straight, preventing the driver from taking right, reports Times of India. This enraged the driver and he followed her, continuously honking at her. Eventually, he caught up with her and started hurling abuses at her and asking her to get out of the car. Traumatised, Das simply drove away. He reportedly followed her again, blocked her way and hurled abuses again. However, when cars started piling up, the driver reportedly fled.
Read More: Mumbai Woman Verbally Abused And Physically Assaulted In Uber Pool