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Use your best instincts for ride-share safety

Posted at 6:13 PM, Apr 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-04 19:59:54-04

A college student was murdered last week after getting into what she thought was her Uber ride. Now questions are being raised about the safety of ride-share apps.

Samantha Josephson was murdered last Friday in South Carolina after mistakenly getting into the wrong car.

In the wake of that tragedy, local law enforcement and ride-share drivers have responded with a list of “Do’s and Don’t’s” for customers using those services.

“A sick, unjust person. There’s a lot of other words I could say,” Rainey Porter said.

Porter is an Uber driver in Corpus Christi and takes extra precautions to protect himself and his riders.

He said he confirms the name and description of every person he picks up through the Uber app.

“A lot of them do make sure that my name is Rainey and like you have on the sign, it has my name on there,” Porter said.

Police also said there are basic steps ride-share users can take to ensure they make it home safely.

“Confirm the license plate. Confirm the vehicle. Confirm the driver,” Corpus Christi Police Department Sr. Officer Travis Pace said. “You don’t want to get into a car when you don’t know if this is the person or not, and it’s okay to trust your instinct and intuition. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Walk away.”

He added clouded judgment is often a factor for customers using ride-share services.

“That may lead into some issues because the person might be impaired, so we recommend don’t go out alone,” Pace said.

Now Uber is offering a new, interactive safety feature for extra precautions.

“Even I can have my family and friends track me,” Porter said. “It’s an app on the Uber and you just click it in and it will track you.”

Uber customers can choose to “add trusted contacts,” which will share the rider’s location with those selected people. This new feature allows family and friends to track that rider’s entire trip home and notifies them of the customer’s arrival.

That safety enhancement can be found under the “Settings” tab on the Uber app.