SPAD sets steps to ensure safety of e-hailing passengers

PETALING JAYA: The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has announced a series of measures to ensure the safety of passengers using ride-hailing services.

It said it would impose several measures on e-hailing service providers after a meeting with senior officials at Grab Malaysia on Tuesday on the recent arrest of a driver over the alleged rape of a passenger.

"Beginning June 16, e-hailing operators are required to submit records of their drivers to SPAD to enable the commission to conduct stringent background checks in synergy with other enforcement agencies," SPAD said in a statement.

The other agencies would include the police and the Road Transport Department (JPJ).

SPAD also repeated its call for e-hailing service providers to "fast track" the implementation of a panic button in their apps. This feature would allow passengers using the apps to notify the police in case of an emergency.

SPAD also wants e-hailing operators to adopt more comprehensive profiling processes when taking aboard drivers to help weed out high-risk candidates.

"E-hailing operators will also need to furnish monthly data of drivers who have been blocked for traffic and other service and behavioural related offences to enable the commission to blacklist them from migrating to other operators," SPAD said.

Lastly, SPAD said e-hailing service providers would also be required to provide data on monthly driver ratings to "facilitate proactive issue management functions".

These measures come ahead of the second reading to amend the Land Public Transport Act 2010 in Parliament in July.

There has been a recent spate of incidents relating to the use of e-hailing apps.

On Sunday, a female passenger was allegedly raped on her way home in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, in a car hired through the e-hailing app Grab.

Just over three weeks earlier, a pregnant woman was allegedly robbed at knife-point by an Uber driver and his accomplice before being left stranded by the roadside in Puchong, Selangor.

More recently was the case of a 42-year-old Vietnamese woman, who claimed that she was sexually assaulted when an Uber driver molested her and forced her to hold his private part.

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