Uber under fire after video surfaces of alleged assault on Calgary mother

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Uber under fire after video surfaces of alleged assault on Calgary mother
WATCH: A woman says she was assaulted by an Uber driver in Calgary. But the city said it’s a lack of immediate action by the rideshare company that has Livery and Transport Services amending existing bylaws. Nancy Hixt explains – Jun 7, 2018

The City of Calgary says it will be pushing for greater accountability from Uber following a recent incident involving one of its drivers.

A woman told Global News she was hit by an Uber driver and said Uber didn’t take action until a month later when the city became involved.

The woman has asked to remain anonymous, citing concerns for her safety.

She said it happened April 27—just minutes after she got into the car with her 10-year-old son.

She said she had given directions to the Uber driver but he stopped in the middle of a busy road.

That’s when she said she grabbed her phone and started recording.

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“He connected with my arm. My son got really upset, obviously. He was in the car with me and he’s only 10 so he started panicking and screaming, ‘Mom, get out! Let’s get out,’” she said.

“We were on a very busy roadway and I didn’t think it was safe to just exit the vehicle at that point.”

The video continues for nearly two minutes, ending with the driver taking the woman’s belongings out of the car and then leaving.

Police responded and charged 50-year-old Nuradin Osman with one count of assault. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance June 13.

The woman said she reported the incident to Uber that same day.

But nearly a month later, the woman said she was shocked to see he was still an active driver on the Uber app.

“They said that he would be off the road and that they would do an investigation,” she said.

“I found out just by virtue of watching him on the Uber app that he was still continuing to drive.”

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On May 24, she decided to call 311.

The city took immediate action.

Calgary Livery Transport Services–the regulating body over taxis and rideshare companies including Uber in Calgary–directed Uber to remove the driver from the app.

His licence to operate in Calgary was revoked.

Uber declined an on-camera or phone interview about this incident with Global News.

A spokesperson confirmed the company received a complaint from the passenger but said it was her word against the driver’s.

In an official statement, Uber said: “As soon as we were formally notified by government officials, we removed this driver’s access to the app.”

The city says that was May 25 and questions whether Uber did its due diligence– given the driver continued to operate in the weeks following the original passenger complaint.

“The provincial regulations do clearly stipulate that a TNC (Transportation Network Companies) company shall not allow a driver to operate while charges or convictions are pending,” Chief Livery Insp. for the City of Calgary Abdul Rafih said.

In light of this incident, the city told Global News it will amend an existing bylaw so rideshare companies are mandated to notify the regulator of  complaints like this.

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The bylaw already exists for Calgary taxi companies.

The city added this highlights why it is necessary to oversee rideshare in Calgary and why all complaints should be made directly to the city by calling 311.

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