Woman arrested and others charged after video from driver dash camera captures the entire incident.
San Francisco DA announces charges against woman involved in Uber attack SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday multiple charges against a woman involved in the San Francisco Uber assault incident.
24-year-old was seen in now-viral video coughing on an Uber driver earlier this month thanks to the drives dash camera.
Uber published a report that indicates that 3,045 sexual assaults during its rides in the United States in 2018, with nine people murdered and 58 killed in crashes, in its first study detailing unsafe incidents on the ride-hailing platform.
Safety is the biggest challenge in rideshare services.
“The numbers are jarring and hard to digest,” Tony West, Uber’s chief legal officer, said in an interview. “What it says is that Uber is a reflection of the society it serves.”
Safety has been a long-running Achilles’ heel for ride-hailing companies, which depend on a large volume of people using their service. Uber, the world’s biggest, chose to be transparent about cataloging sexual assaults, murders and crash fatalities as it has faced growing pressure over these issues.
Many ride-hailing companies initially thrived by flouting regulations and allowing almost anyone with a car to become a driver without the screening and licenses required in the taxi industry. Reports of sexual assault and murders have since become a regular occurrence as ride-hailing has become a mainstay of urban transportation. Many of the companies face a growing number of lawsuits over safety incidents.
In 2017, a woman who was raped by her Uber driver in India sued the company and its executives for obtaining and mishandling her medical records; she later settled for an undisclosed sum. This week, 19 women joined a lawsuit against Lyft, saying they had been sexually assaulted during rides arranged by the company.
Uber and others have introduced more safety features and procedures in recent years. Uber has rolled out automated technology to regularly check drivers’ driving records and criminal history. Since 2018, it said, it has deactivated 40,000 drivers in the United States after they failed the checks made by the automated technology.
Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, said ride-hailing companies needed to do more on safety, such as conduct fingerprint-based background checks of drivers.
“All of those steps are starters because these ride-hailing companies have been abjectly failing in their duty to protect against predators or criminals,” he said.
Uber and Lyft are struggling financially. This year, both companies staged prominent initial public stock offerings that went on to disappoint Wall Street. The companies are also losing enormous sums of money because of the continuous expense of attracting drivers and passengers. Last month, Uber posted a quarterly loss of $1.2 billion.
Staying Safe When Using Ride-Hailing Services