Concerns over Uber's safety grow with its popularity - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Concerns over Uber's safety grow with its popularity

CINCINNATI (FOX19) -

As Uber's popularity grows, so do concerns over the driving service's safety measures.

Uber is like a high-tech taxi: Users order an Uber with the mobile app and a driver, in their personal car, comes to pick up.

It's touted as safe because no money changes hands. The charge goes right through a credit card to Uber - not the person who provided the ride. The bottom of the Uber app screen even shows users a photo of the driver with their vehicle model and license plate number.

Uber reps claim the company uses a thorough background check system that goes back seven years with searches through county, federal, sex offender and BMV records.

"The one thing that background checks can't do is they can't predict future behavior. So that's something that's the reality we live with," said Delon White, Uber Cleveland general manager.

While there have been accusations against Uber drivers for attacking customers in Boston, Chicago and L.A., the Cincinnati Police department only cites two Uber-related crime reports. Both incidents point to the passengers, not the drivers, leading to police involvement.

Someone took off in an Uber driver's vehicle in September on East Liberty Street in OTR.

In February, someone allegedly pulled off the back of an Uber vehicle's seat after the driver said they would not transport more than six people. That incident happened on St. Gregory Street in Mount Adams.

Uber is testing a safety option in India that's similar to a panic button and is called “SOS.” It will allow passengers to call for help with a click on their phone. No word on if this option will eventually be available in the U.S.

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