October 11, 2016
Taxi Council calls for urgent changes to rideshare regulations after alleged sex assault
Taxi Council Queensland (TCQ) says their continued warnings about the dangers of new rideshare regulations have unfortunately been proved correct following revelations on ‘A Current Affair’ that an 18-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by an Uber driver.
TCQ Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Wash said it is vital that the Government, community and media note three very important points in the story that highlight the huge danger to consumers.
“The Uber driver turned the phone off and disabled the app; there was no camera in the car, preventing police from obtaining evidence; and the alleged victim had no one to contact and was forced to deal with someone in the Netherlands.”
Mr Wash said the taxi industry has warned of these exact risks numerous times but no one listened.
“We’ve said time and time again that rideshare vehicles are not properly GPS monitored – and this was shown when the driver simply turned off the phone and was off the grid.
“We’ve also said cameras are necessary for evidence, and we’ve explained that you can’t deal with an anonymous app managed by an overseas company when something goes wrong.
“We were ridiculed by some members of the media and organisations like the RACQ when we pointed these things out, but I’d invite those same people to speak to this young girl and tell her how safe rideshare is.”
He said it was time for the Government to wake up and make urgent changes to protect Queensland consumers.
“If there are still occasional incidents in taxis that have safety protection like cameras and GPS monitoring, how on earth can removing these measures make anything better?
“More young women will be raped and more people will be assaulted unless the State Government immediately takes its head out of the sand and amends these poorly drafted regulatory changes and increases protection in rideshare vehicles.”
Original ACA story - http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/10/05/20/32/queensland-teenager-claims-uber-driver-sexually-assaulted-her