San Diego Police and rideshare drivers are warning people to pay attention while using rideshare apps.
“Just be responsible,” was the primary advice from SDPD Lt. Shawn Takeuchi. “You’re getting into a stranger’s car. You’ve never met this person before.”
Yet thousands of people hop into an Uber or Lyft every day without batting an eye.
“They don’t even pay attention to the car or the plates,” said rideshare driver Daniel de la Torre.
De la Torre has been a rideshare driver for two years. He said people have hopped into his car when they aren’t even his customer. He said he has seen other drivers try to pick up his customers.
“We always get blamed but it’s actually the passenger who has to be really accurate about which cars they’re getting into,” said de la Torre.
Takeuchi said the apps provide users five different ways to make sure the ride in front of them is their ride.
“The make of the car; the license plate; the driver’s name; the face of the driver; location of that car,” said Takeuchi.
He said do not get in the car if those things don’t match.
The lieutenant also warned about the difference of a complaint and something that requires police assistance.
“There has to be a violation of a law, an existing law and unfortunately, being creepy is not a violation of the law,” he said. “There’s no law that says you can’t be a creepy. There’s no law that says you can’t be annoying.”
Takeuchi also warned about drivers who say they’re your ride even if their information doesn’t match what’s listed on your app.
“Can a person lie? A person can lie. There’s nothing, there’s no law that says you can’t lie unfortunately,” he added.
De la Torre said rideshare users need to be part of the solution.
“Pay attention,” he said.
Takeuchi added that complaints about drivers need to be made with their respective companies. However, any violation of the law needs to be reported to 911 immediately.