DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Four teens are facing charges after two incidents involving Lyft drivers, one of them being shot and killed. This type of violence brings safety to the forefront for rideshare drivers.
“What happened to that man, and that woman, that could have been me,” Lewis Transports and Delivery owner Jerrica Lewis said.
After a Lyft driver was killed and another robbed at gun point in Dayton early Wednesday morning, Lewis Transports and Delivery owner Jerrica Lewis said it brings her safety to the forefront.
“I’m the only one that runs the business, so my safety is a huge concern,” Lewis said.
Lewis started her own rideshare service in Dayton in 2019 to help the community after the tornadoes.
She said in that time, she’s encountered situations that she felt would put her at risk.
“They were suspicious,” Lewis said. “The ride would be booked, but when you called the phone number, you couldn’t access the person. If I can’t contact you, that means my safety is a big concern right there.”
Lewis said she used to drive Uber before moving to Dayton, but company policy wouldn’t allow her to drive with her husband in the passenger seat.
“I’m not allowed to drive with him on their platform, but I can drive with him for mine, so it’s another security feature that I have,” Lewis said.
After Tuesday’s incidents, a Lyft spokesperson provided a statement that said:
“Safety is fundamental to Lyft, and the actions that led to the events of this morning are reprehensible. Our hearts are with the driver’s loved ones during this incredibly difficult time, as well as with an additional driver who was impacted by this behavior. We’ve reached out to law enforcement to offer our assistance with their investigation, and we’ll continue our efforts to combat this senseless violence and help keep drivers safe.”
Lyft said the company does have safety measures in place to protect its drivers.
The app offers drivers an emergency help button. The company works to prevent carjacking by identifying accounts that may show high-risk rider behavior, and provides ride check-ins if something unusual occurs. Lyft said they also have 24/7 safety support and law enforcement response teams that drivers can reach out to if they feel unsafe.