After a 29-year-old doctor was kidnapped by an Ola cab driver, Indian cab hailing companies are working to fill up gaps in their driver verification process.
According to Livemint, analysts and company executives said Ola is looking to implement stricter driver recruitment processes and may even have to cut down on expansion as rider security has been put to scrutiny.
The driver had registered himself with Ola using forged documents and kidnapped the first rider in Delhi on July 6. He along with his three accomplices had held him captive for almost a fortnight, demanding a ransom of Rs 5 crore from Ola Technologies. The police traced the victim in Uttar Pradesh, arresting the four culprits involved in the kidnapping.
After the kidnapping, company executives in Ola are dreading hostility from riders and regulators.
A similar situation arose in December 2014, when a woman Uber rider was raped by the driver. Both Ola and Uber had revamped passenger security policies post the incident. Driver verification was made tighter and an SOS button was added to the mobile apps.
Experts said the incident has pointed out towards the existing loopholes in customer security issues and filling those would not be an easy task.
An Uber spokesperson claimed Uber has very strict driver verification procedures. After a driver is registered with Uber, he/she is given soft skills training to ensure customer safety.
Head of forensics at KPMG Mohit Bahl said cab hailing companies must conduct awareness programmes with customers as well as riders regarding safety issues. He added stricter actions must be taken against drivers receiving low customer reviews, along with setting up a binding code of conduct for all drivers.