SPAD imposes security measures for e-hailing services


PETALING JAYA: The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) is implementing several new security measures for e-hailing service providers, including expediting the implementation of an SOS button on their apps.

In a statement issued today, SPAD said it had held a meeting with Grab Malaysia’s senior officials to discuss safety measures following the arrest of one of the company’s drivers for allegedly raping a female passenger.

“In the interest of passenger safety, several measures will be imposed on e-hailing operators ahead of the second reading to amend the Land Public Transport Act (APAD 2010) in Parliament this July,” it said.

Beginning June 16, e-hailing operators are required to submit records of their drivers to SPAD to enable the agency to conduct stringent background checks with the cooperation of other enforcement agencies, including the police and the Road Transport Department (JPJ).

The e-hailing operators have also been instructed to fast-track the implementation of a panic or SOS button on their apps.

“The proposed ‘panic button’ will provide passengers with a feature that will help them notify the police in case of an emergency,” it said.

It added that as a risk-mitigation policy, SPAD had urged operators to adopt a more comprehensive “profiling process” of drivers as a means to weed out high-risk candidates.

“The operators will also need to furnish monthly data of drivers who have been blocked for traffic and other service and behavioural-related offences to enable the commission to blacklist them from migrating to other e-hailing operators,” the statement said.

“Lastly, e-hailing operators are also required to furnish the commission with the monthly driver rating data to facilitate proactive issue management functions.”

It said SPAD expects e-hailing operators to practise the highest standards of safety and service quality once full regulation on e-hailing is passed in Parliament.

“The commission will not hesitate to penalise e-hailing operators or drivers, and impound vehicles of e-hailing drivers who violate the law,” it added.

The move comes in the wake of a number of alleged criminal attacks by Uber and Grab drivers on passengers that have caught widespread attention over the past month.

On June 11, a 29-year-old woman was allegedly raped by a Grab driver who was said to be drunk, at about 4am in his car at Bandar Putra Permai, Seri Kembangan.

In a separate incident, a 42-year-old Vietnamese woman passenger claimed she was “ordered” to touch her Uber driver’s genitals after he flashed her during her ride in Penang on June 6.

On June 4, an Uber driver in Selangor was arrested for investigation into the robbery of two teenagers, after he allegedly drove them elsewhere from their intended destination and left them stranded in Kajang.

On May 21, a pregnant passenger was allegedly robbed by an Uber driver and his accomplice, causing her to suffer trauma and emotional stress which she said led to a miscarriage six days later.

Wong Mei Yan, 26, was reportedly robbed at knifepoint while taking a ride from Mid Valley to Puchong.