(COSTA MESA, Ca) On Oct. 30, an Uber driver’s personal dash cam recorded his assault by an intoxicated passenger.
32-year-old Benjamin Golden was reportedly intoxicated when Uber driver Edward Caban picked him up after a party. After Golden refused to wear a seatbelt and could not provide clear directions for his destination, Caban asked him to get out of the car. Golden then proceeded to repeatedly strike Caban from the backseat. Caban used pepper spray to make him stop.
Uber is similar to a taxi. People are able to request a ride through the smartphone app. Using the phone’s GPS capabilities, riders are able to see drivers nearby. Riders are able to request the size of the vehicle that they need. Drivers have the option to accept or decline the request. The cost depends on the city, but every city has a minimum fare. The passenger never pays in cash. All payments are handled through the app using the credit card on the user’s login profile.
Although Uber has certain safety procedures such as providing driver and car information and the license plate number to riders, assaults continue to occur. In addition to the provided information, Uber suggests that passengers and drivers rate one another on the app. Riders may also share their route with friends or family members so they know when they arrive safely. The only safety precaution that drivers can make is verifying the information about the passenger. If drivers do not feel comfortable with the rider they can only ask them to leave.
Uber provides different driving opportunities, but all drivers must meet several qualifications before they are able to begin driving. The minimum amount of qualifications include passing a background check, driving a vehicle made in 2000 or 2005 for some cities and being at least 21 years or older.