DA Gascón Announces Public Education Campaign to Enhance Safety for Rideshare Users
News from the Office of District Attorney George Gascón
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2018
SFDA CONTACT: Alex Bastian (415) 553-1931 | Nikesh Patel (415) 734-3205
DA GASCÓN ANNOUNCES PUBLIC EDUCATION CAMPAIGN TO ENHANCE SAFETY FOR RIDESHARE USERS
SAN FRANCISCO — Today, District Attorney George Gascón launched a public education campaign, “Rideshare with Care,” to enhance public safety for rideshare passengers. The San Francisco Police Department and Uber Technologies, Inc. joined in the announcement. Rideshare with Care promotes a step-by-step approach for passengers to use to maximize their safety while using rideshare services.
“Rideshare companies offer a convenient service,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “These services generally operate effectively, but they can be manipulated to attract unsuspecting victims. Together, we can take steps to create a safer experience for a service so many rely on.”
In San Francisco, over 170,000 rideshare trips are taken on a typical workday, and most are completed safely. Recently, there have been incidents locally, statewide, and nationally where riders have been attacked by those abusing these services to commit crimes. Individuals purporting to be rideshare drivers wait for passengers to emerge from restaurants, bars, and other nightlife establishments. As the purported driver approaches, the unsuspecting passenger enters the vehicle before being taken to a remote location. These schemes are deliberate and take advantage of the trust passengers place in the services they rely on.
The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, in collaboration with the San Francisco Police Department, and Uber are working together to create a safer rideshare experience. We are encouraging riders to adopt a step-by-step approach for when they use rideshare services. These steps include:
- Verify the license plate number, color, make, and model of the car to your rideshare app
- Confirm your driver’s name before you provide your name. Make sure your driver matches the picture on your rideshare app.
- Share your location and destination with a friend, family member, or someone you trust.
If a crime occurs during a rideshare trip, the best response is to call 911 immediately. Subsequently, report the driver to the rideshare company he or she works for, and contact your local police station. Additionally, the SFDA’s Victim Services Division hotline can also be used as a resource.
The importance of addressing this critical safety issue brings the office, SFPD, and Uber together. The SFDA’s Office does not see eye to eye with rideshare companies on all issues, and litigation regarding these issues remains ongoing, but public safety for rideshare users is paramount. Together, we are more effective in making rideshare services safer for everyone.
Please view the attached Rideshare with Care flyer for a step-by-step approach to enhance passenger safety.