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Drivers urge e-hailing firms to ensure more safety measures

The Amalgamated Union of App-based Transporters of Nigeria (AUATON) has called on e-hailing firms to ensure more safety audits and inspections for maximum compliance with safety standards by drivers and passengers.

Its General Secretary, Ibrahim Ayoade, made the call in an interview with newsmen on Sunday.

He said that stringent screening of drivers and frequent verification of relevant licences by the e-hailing firms would bring much needed sanity to the sector.

Ayoade called for incorporation of more in-app safety features such as real-time Global Positioning System (GPS); tracking of rides; emergency buttons; and anonymous reporting options by app-based transport platforms for users to report safety concerns.

According to him, implementing a rating system will allow passengers to provide feedback on their experiences with drivers, and vice versa.

This, he said, could help app-based transport platforms in weeding out problematic drivers or passengers.

“App-based platforms must establish clear safety guidelines and policies that both drivers and passengers must adhere to, including rules against harassment, discrimination, and unsafe behaviours.

“They can enhance safety of citizens through drivers retraining programmes to ensure that drivers have a good understanding of road signs, defensive driving techniques, and how to handle difficult situations,” he said.

Ayoade reiterated the necessity of robust collaboration between app-based companies and local law enforcement agencies for prompt response to emergency security threats and sharing of intelligent information when necessary.

He urged e-hailing firms and government to organise regular safety campaigns and sensitisation programmes to create more awareness among drivers and the general public on how to be safety conscious while on the app trips.

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