Thursday 12 December, 2019

'I barely escaped with my life,' says Uber driver

The death of Uber driver Christopher Mohammed was terrible and could have happened to another driver, who said he almost suffered the same fate.

The driver, who chose not to be identified, told LoopTT that he barely escaped with his life after he was also robbed and his car stolen while dropping off a passenger in east Port of Spain in March 2018.

The father of four, who also works with the ride-sharing company, said he answered a call to pick up someone in Belmont, which he did, and then was asked to pick up several other people. He said he was then asked to go to a location in East Port of Spain where several people attacked him and stole his car.

A 13-year-old boy was subsequently detained and questioned in connection with the incidents. 

The driver, who is also from Central Trinidad, said he later learned that prior to his robbery several other drivers had also been robbed in that area. He said if this had been made known to drivers along with information on the suspects then perhaps these robberies could have been prevented.

He said the death of Christopher Mohammed was a terrible event and extended his condolences to his family.

“To say I’m sad is an understatement. I’m sure there’s more to this story. I find it reprehensible that I was almost killed and my car taken and nothing (has been) done (to date),” he said.

“I feel horrible about it...they have all the information about drivers but we have barely any information about passengers. It was like a field day and it will continue to be…we’re soft targets, and I feel so bad for this guy,” he said.  

He said if a driver turns down a call, they are given a 'time out' which means less calls that day because of the programme's reward system. 

He suggested the implementation of a ‘panic button’ option, which would allow for drivers to send for help to the company or to the police.

“They need to put a panic button, something you can press that can alert the police. I was in the car and I suspected that I was going to be robbed but there was nothing I could do. If there’s a panic button then maybe drivers can contact the police or private security,” he said.

The driver was also told by the company that he would be compensated for the loss of his car, however, although he has spoken with a representative, he has heard nothing since.

He added although suspects were detained in connection with the robberies, he has had no word from the police on his stolen car.

“It’s like a nightmare for me every night, what I could have done differently…how it happened was horrible and there was nothing I could do,” he said.

28-year-old Christopher Mohammed was found dead in some bushes near Mucurapo Road, St James on May 17. It is thought that he had been killed for his car, which was recovered the next day. 

Mohammed, a former student of Hillview College, began working with the company in order to help pay off for his car which he recently bought. 

Facebook page Uber Drivers Trinidad stated that drivers are at risk as the system in Trinidad and Tobago is not cashless and called for these safety concerns to be addressed. 

 

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