Residents consider safety concerns with new Uber service, MPD releases safety tips

MONROE, La. - With the announcement of Uber launching in Monroe. 
Safety has been at the forefront of everyone's mind. 

And, while Louisiana issues concealed carry permits and is an open carry state.
Uber prohibits both drivers and passengers from having a firearm. 

"There policy is in place for a reason, and the riders and customers will have to abide by that," said MPD Executive Officer Reggie Brown.  

While carrying a firearm might be against Uber policy, police say if you choose to do so. You won't end up behind bars, however there is an exception. 

"If a customer does have a fire arm and he gets a vehicle and the driver realizes he has a firearm and he requests that he exists his vehicle and he does not then it becomes a law enforcement situation," said Detective Brown.  

For weeks the Monroe Police Department says they've been studying  the apps challenges. 
The most important thing the department says that can be done is sharing your ride details with a friend. 

"You can hit the share trip status and it allows a family member or a friend to track your destination and it's real time which i think is very important," said Brown.  

And while having a weapon may not land you in jail.
Brown says at the end of the day the ride can only be as safe as driver or passenger inside the vehicle. 

"The two things that must be present is that the rider be of good moral character have good intent and also that the driver be of good moral character and intent for this experience to work," said Detective Brown. 

The Monroe Police Department released the following safety tips: 

1. Plan ahead. Before you request a ride, think about where you’re headed and review the safety features in the app so you know how to use them.

2. Request your ride inside. Avoid spending unnecessary time outside alone with your phone in your hand. Instead, wait indoors until the app shows your driver has arrived.

3. Get in the right car. Before you get in the car, check that license plate, driver photo, and driver name all match what’s listed in the app. Uber rides can only be requested through the app, so never get in a car with a driver who claims to be with Uber and offers a ride.

4. Be a backseat rider. If you’re riding alone, sit in the backseat. This ensures you can safely exit on either side of the vehicle to avoid moving traffic, and it gives you and your driver some personal space. 5. Buckle up. The Centers for Disease Control reports that seatbelt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries related to car accidents.

6. Share your trip details with a friend. While en route, tap “Share status” in the app to share your driver’s name, photo, license plate, and location with a friend or family member. They can track your trip and see your ETA without downloading the Uber app.

7. Protect your personal information. There’s no need to share your phone number or other contact information with your driver. If a rider and driver need to contact each other, the Uber app automatically anonymizes both phone numbers to protect everyone’s privacy.

8. Follow your intuition. Trust your instincts and use your best judgment when riding with Uber. And if you ever feel you’re in an emergency situation, call 911 immediately. 9. Be kind and respectful. As outlined in our community guidelines, please respect your driver and his or her car.

10. Give feedback on your trip. Your feedback helps us improve the Uber experience for everyone. Our 24/7 global support team reviews feedback and will follow up with appropriate action on any reports of conduct that violate our community guidelines.


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