Ride safe tips from top lawyer helping Uber-Montecasino victim secure justice

23 September 2016 - 16:58 By TMG Digital

Five steps to protect yourself from potential danger have been prepared by lawyer Ulrich Roux‚ while the justice system tries to apprehend the culprits linked to the rape and robbery of an Uber passenger in Gauteng. Roux‚ the legal representative of an elderly commuter who was kidnapped‚ raped and robbed after she had called for an Uber from Montecasino in July‚ said on Friday he was working closely with the South African Police Services in prosecuting the men responsible for these crimes.Uber ups security featuresUber has installed dashcams in several Cape Town cars in a four-week pilot study aimed at increasing security. He said he had identified "a number of incidents" where the modus operandi is exactly the same:The client is collected and driven in the direction of their destination. Whilst driving‚ two men push forward the back seat of the vehicle and enter the cabin of the vehicle from the boot‚ after which they assault and blindfold the client‚ drive to an open veld area‚ rape and rob the client and leave.The safety measures he has compiled are:Ask the driver to identify you. If he is a certified Über driver he will have access to the certified software and the trip will be a valid and authorised trip. Ask the driver to open the boot of the vehicle before you enter the vehicle. Rather have one uncomfortable minute than the alternative. Do not supply your (exact) destination‚ rather direct the driver. If you are unsure about where you are heading‚ make use of your own GPS system on your phone and direct the driver accordingly. Make sure the number plate of the vehicle matches the one on your app. Make use of the “Share my ETA” option on the app. In doing so‚ a friend will know where you are heading and whether everything is in order.“It is imperative that anyone who makes use of any form of taxi service exercises the necessary caution. You are after all entering a complete stranger’s vehicle‚” Roux said.Uber Africa General Manager Alon Lits said drivers who are implicated in misconduct are banned from its platforms."Uber takes allegations of a criminal nature against driver partners very seriously. We revoke the driving rights from a driver as soon as criminal investigations are under way."Uber says it has beefed up security measures and this week‚ it appointed Deon du Toit as head of security for Africa. Du Toit joins the Uber team from the De Beers Group where he worked as head of global interventions and investigations where he was responsible for combating global illegal diamond trade and managing the protection of partners and staff.The company also announced earlier this week that it would add the colour of the requested vehicle on its app. In addition to the driver image‚ vehicle type and licence plate‚ riders across South Africa will see the colour of the vehicle when they request a ride. However‚ this is a phased roll out and not everyone will see it right away...

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