Uber releases safety report following ongoing criticism of practices

Uber releases safety report following ongoing criticism of practices

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Uber released the long-awaited report on violence and safety. The data comes after ongoing criticism of safety practices. and pressure to increase transparency about the issue.

The safety report is the first of it’s kind for the ride share company detailing sexual assaults, murders and fatal crashes. Alarming numbers, though Uber says the reports only make up a fraction of the billion rides a year.

In an 84-page report released Thursday, Uber details for the first time the number of sexual abuse complaints made to the company in 2017 and 2018. The company received 5,981 reports of incidents during rides ranging from groping to rape. Roughly four reported rapes every week, that’s 1 in every 5 million rides according to the report.

The victims, both riders and drivers according to Uber.

Drivers like Dori Stearns who we spoke with in February 2018.

“I’m kind of fighting him off driving down the road and then he started rubbing my breast,” she said.

During a ride from Southaven to Bartlett, Sterns told us her passenger, Jeffrey Kollat, inappropriately kissed and touched her. He is now indicted for sexual battery.

And a Pennsylvania woman filed a lawsuit against her Uber driver and the company. She claims her driver tried to kiss her in March 2018 at the Hilton in Memphis. The lawsuit says the driver was called back to the hotel after she forgot something in his car. At the hotel, the woman claims the driver “forced his way into the room” after knocking, then “grabbed [her] by the arm and repeatedly asked [her] to kiss him.”

Tony West Uber’s chief legal officer, spearheaded the study release.

“We hope to see and hope to learn a number of things. I think, first, we wanna raise awareness. The other thing we wanna show is that we’re developing best practices,” said West.

There are several new safety features in the Uber app like the ability to text 911 from the app, pin codes for rides, and on-trip reporting.

Uber says it will release a safety report every two years.

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