Lyft to Increase Ride Safety with the Addition of an In-App 911 Panic Button

Lyft recently announced that it will be adding safety features to the Lyft app, in response to recent assaults and violent allegations against Lyft and Uber drivers.

Last year, a CNN report found that 103 Uber and Lyft drivers had been reported for sexually assaulting their passengers.

In addition, some states (Texas, Colorado, Massachusetts and California) have launched investigations into Uber and Lyft, following allegations that they had failed to properly screen drivers, thus resulting in hiring convicted criminals.

Unfortunately, people posing as drivers has also become an issue.

For example, last month, The Guardian reported that a University of South Carolina student was allegedly murdered by a man claiming to be her Uber driver.

Another example is Orland Vilchez Lazo — labeled the “rideshare rapist” — who was accused of sexually assaulting four different women in San Francisco. While Lazo was a Lyft driver, it is unclear whether he was posing as a driver during the incidents or using the app.

In response, San Francisco urged the public to “Rideshare with Care.”

Lyft’s updated safety features come after these alleged assaults, kidnappings and rapes.

The company announced that it would be adding an in-app 911 panic button as well as making the image of the drivers’ license plates bigger.

As Mary Winfield, Lyft’s head of trust and safety said in a blog post, “Lyft is relentlessly focused on finding new ways to further strengthen safety measures on our platform.”

Lyft’s new features are aimed at getting riders to check driver’s license plates and, if something goes wrong, to contact the authorities quickly with the 911 panic button.

In addition, last month, Lyft announced that it’d run ongoing background checks on its drivers on a yearly basis, combing for any new criminal charges.