Don’t allow cabbies to turn off GPS: Experts

Bengaluru: As robbery, assault and sexual harassment cases involving cab drivers have spiked, experts suggested that cab aggregators should ensure that cabs registered with them are driven only by registered drivers.

Prof M.N. Srihari, a traffic expert and former advisor to the government, said that cab aggregators should also make sure that cab drivers always kept their GPS on, which will allow the authorities to trace a driver’s location even when he is not driving. This will help the police know the exact time and location of cabs and their drivers.

“The network between the police and cab aggregators should be common. This will allow the police to track the drivers whenever a crime is reported,” he said. In the latest incident, a drunk Ola cab driver, not registered with Ola, tried to abduct and misbehave with a woman heading to the Kempegowda International Airport early on Thursday morning in the Chikkajala police limits.

The police have been, for some time, pressurising cab aggregators to check the background of drivers properly and to ensure that only registered drivers drive the cabs registered with the companies.

The cab aggregators too are appealing to their customers not to board any cab or auto if the details of the cab and driver do not match.

A senior police officer said that cab aggregators have been told to revise their apps in such a way that whenever a passenger presses the panic button, a message is immediately flashes in the police control room, along with the location of the cab, so that the control room can alert nearby Hoysalas to attend to the case.

“The option of turning off the GPS while the drivers are off duty or resting should be removed. This will help in tracing wrong-doers and will instil a fear among drivers that their movements are tracked all the time,” Mr Srihari said.

To stop drivers from switching vehicles, cab aggregators should make sure that the driving licence and registered ID from the cab service company along with the details of the drivers are displayed inside the cab for passengers to confirm the driver’s identity.

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