Ride share businesses make driver, passenger safety a top priority

Investigating safety of ride share
Investigating safety of ride share

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Uber confirmed to Newschannel6 on Wednesday it will launch in Wichita Falls next week. With more ride sharing companies coming to the city we wanted to know just how safe these companies are.

It is a top priority for any ride share company, which is why for many of them, drivers have to pass a background check. An Uber official said safety first starts when you request a car.

"The safety measures improve on a daily basis because we're always getting feedback from our riders and drivers," said Travis Considine, communications director for Uber, Texas.

Uber and Lyft both do background checks for drivers. When your driver comes there are ways to know if he or she is legitimate. When you request a ride with either company, you will see a picture of your driver.

Uber also provides a picture of the car and its license plate number. Some Ubers even have a sticker on their window so customers can easily identify them.

Once you're in the car, you can look on your GPS in the app to make sure the person behind the wheel is going where you sent them. All of this, Uber said, assures safety.

"We're just deeply committed to the safety of riders and drivers in the app," said Considine. "They benefit from the same transparency to any accountability features that they put into it."

Uber also wants to keep its drivers safe. They do this by requiring every rider to create a profile before they request a ride.

"They know who the rider is before you even get into the car," said Considine.

Police said if you're in doubt, just get out.

"No matter what is going on always be aware of your surroundings,  never get so tunnel vision that you're not aware of your surroundings," said Sgt. Harold McClure with the Wichita Falls Police Department.  "If something doesn't seem right, if something doesn't feel right, just step away and step back."

"We have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to any kind of breaking of local laws or discrimination of any kind," said Considine.

Uber has a response team that works with law enforcement in case anything goes wrong. This is just another way they try and keep communities safe. Uber will launch in Wichita Falls officially on Tuesday, August 22.

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