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Didi Chuxing

Women riding app cabs could take these steps for a safer journey

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 September, 2018, 4:01pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 September, 2018, 4:01pm

I refer to reports of two women being killed in China after hailing rides on Didi Chuxing (“Didi CEO admits to letting guard down as safety checks begin”, September 6). As China’s largest ride-hailing platform, Didi is a popular app that promises easy and cheap travel. Now, after the murder of two women within the space of three months, the company has temporarily suspended some services (“Didi suspends late-night ride-hailing after killing”, September 4).

Women elsewhere in the world – in the US, India and Lebanon, for instance – have been victims of violent and sexual crimes after they hailed app cabs. It seems that it is dangerous for women to be travelling alone. It is probably better for women to hail a cab with a friend or colleague as an added safety measure. Drivers usually choose places that are far away from city or deserted areas to commit crimes. So, be alert to what the driver is doing or where is he driving to.

Some cases involve a stranger sitting next to the driver, who may be his partner in crime. This is something passengers should take note of, and raise the alarm early if need be. Also, keep friends and loved ones informed about your whereabouts at all times. Passengers should not focus on browsing on their phones but always be alert to what is the driver is doing.

Watch: Uber driver arrested over murder of British embassy worker

In unfamiliar places, checking the route beforehand is another way to protect oneself. By knowing in advance how long the ride should last and the preferred routes, passengers would more alert to untoward behaviour by the driver. Passengers could also direct the driver on the route to take, to assert authority and create a deterrent.

Cindy Wong, Tseung Kwan O