SC House passes bill requiring Uber, Lyft signs; local Uber driver says be more aware

CSRA News

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – It is Master’s Week and that means more visitors .more opportunity for ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

The South Carolina House passed a measure that now heads to the Senate meant to add a layer of protection to those who use them.

“I think the scary thing is when you got people that blindly get into a car in the middle of the night and don’t talk to me at all before just trusting that i’m their driver,” local Uber driver Taylor Haywood Mapp told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk. “People who are intoxicated and about to get into an uber its a better way to get them to know where they are going,” she added.

Mapp has been driving uber for nearly two years, she says she takes a proactive approach when it comes to picking up her riders.

“Whenever they walk up to my door, I roll down my window and say hey my name is so and so,” she recalled.

She has concerns over behavior some of the passengers at night and there are times when the information doesn’t match what’s provided through Uber.

“Young people that are being called uber by their parents or they’re people who are calling them an uber and its not the person that i’m getting their information that says go pick up Jessica from this address I’m not getting Jessica I’m getting Jessica’s best friend who she doesn’t have uber on her phone so her friend just called it,” Mapp recalled.

In addition to the illuminated signs, drivers would be required to return the sign to the company when they no longer work at the firm or provide a sworn statement about what happened to the sign. The companies would have to report the name and address of those who didn’t return it.

“I think that I can go on Amazon right now and can buy one of those signs and you don’t have to prove you’re an Uber driver,” she said.

A simple google search brought up several options for illuminated signs. On E-bay, Shawn found one for $9.59.

“Like I feel like if people take advantage of the screen that comes up as a passenger and when you’re a driver and you see their name and where they are going when they get in my car I verify their name where we’re going and just introduce myself,” Mapp added.

Here are some other tips when using Uber:

1. Share your trip details with a friend. While en route, tap “Share status” in the app to share your driver’s name, photo, license plate, and location with a friend or family member. They can track your trip and see your ETA without downloading the Uber app.

2. Plan ahead. 

3. Follow your intuition. Trust your instincts and use your best judgment when riding with Uber. 

4. Get in the right car. Before you get in the car, check that license plate, driver photo, and driver name all match what’s listed in the app. Uber rides can only be requested through the app, so never get in a car with a driver who claims to be with Uber and offers a ride.

5. Protect your personal information. There’s no need to share your phone number or other contact information with your driver. If a rider and driver need to contact each other, the Uber app automatically anonymizes both phone numbers to protect everyone’s privacy.

6. Snap pictures as you ride. Let your driver know you are paying attention to everything and try to ride with someone you know.

Ridesharing is a great option for those who shouldn’t be driving being more aware of your surroundings Mapp said is the change that’s needed.

Meanwhile, Shawn did reach out to Uber and Lyft to get a statement on the movement of the proposed bill at the South Carolina Statehouse, neither company returned his request for comment. 

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