Festive advice for a safer season
The festive season is upon us and with that comes holidays, events, and great times. During this period, we experience a spike in our service demand from passengers who may seem like they’re really enjoying the festivities. These ‘over-enthusiastic’ passengers may possibly display undesirable behaviour after indulging in too much alcohol or too much party fun.
We want everyone to have a good time and party hard. But we also want everyone to be safe and free from danger. This means protecting both our customers and drivers, as both of you are important to us and your safety is our number one priority. So, we’ve prepared a little bit of friendly advice to ensure that our safety values are being upheld and each and every ride is safe for everyone involved.
- COVID still exists and depending on which state you are in there are certain requirements that must be followed such as social distancing, wearing a mask and scanning a QR code. Please follow your local laws and don’t put yourselves or our drivers at risk. It is upto the driver’s discretion whether they allow a passenger in the front seat or not due to social distancing recommendations. Please respect the driver’s wishes to not accept a passenger in the front seat.
- If you’ve had a big night and you’re feeling sick afterwards, don’t order the Ola just yet. Get whatever you need to get out of you and then call for the Ola. Too often this can cause issues during a ride and make situations (and car interiors) messy. Let’s respect the driver’s vehicle.
- It’s fine to be happy and over-enthusiastic, but when you get into the car, try and tone it down a bit because our drivers need to concentrate on the road and on getting you home safely. Please don’t put the windows down and shout your enthusiasm to the world. Whilst the world may appreciate it, the police do not and neither do our drivers.
- Wear your seatbelt as soon as you get in – respect your safety, the driver’s licence and their source of income. It’s a simple thing that we all do everyday but can be easily forgotten when you’ve been out on the beers.
- Don’t get handsy and overly friendly with the drivers because while it might only be a friendly gesture from you, it can sometimes get lost in translation and create a situation where the driver may need to end the trip early, or worse, get the police involved.
- Try not to be a backseat driver – we know you know the area too but the drivers also know where they are going and follow the quickest GPS directions from the app. Unnecessary turns may cause delays and increases in fares.
- Don’t try to engage the driver in personal conversations or conversations relating to politics, religion, race or other topics which might cause disagreements or offence to be taken. Try to keep the conversation neutral and simple.
- Don’t take food or drinks into the ride – make sure you’ve finished eating and drinking before requesting the ride. It can make the car messy and leave crumbs or odours that could impact the experience of the next rider. Please be considerate.
- Don’t try and pile in as many mates as you can to get home. The absolute maximum passenger number in a sedan is 4 persons – the driver will refuse to start the trip if you violate this rule.
- Use the Emergency SOS button in your customer app and make sure you call emergency services if you feel threatened in any way at all.
- Remember you can always report bad drivers to us for further investigation. Drivers should always treat you with respect and not try to take advantage of you or a situation.
While Ola requires all drivers to maintain an excellent standard of customer service in line with our Driver Customer Service Policy, we understand drivers can often face a situation when managing difficult riders can become challenging. There will always be times when riders might become unruly or obnoxious and might exhibit undesirable behaviours such as:
- Being disruptive and non-cooperative
- Being verbally abusive, intimidating or harassing
- Being physically intimidating
- Throwing objects and projectiles from the window
- Damaging your vehicle
- Intoxicated – drinking, smoking or drug use
- Bullying and violence
It is important for drivers to attempt to de-escalate the situation when riders exhibit or show signs of exhibiting any of the above undesirable behaviours.
As an Ola driver, you are responsible for remaining professional at all times. Here are some tips for managing difficult riders:
- Often, the comments riders make when affected by drugs or alcohol are not comments they would make when sober. Don’t take it personally. Keep calm and try to keep the conversation to a minimum.
- If you find yourself in a situation where the rider is being disruptive and non-cooperative, remind the rider that you can and will end the trip if they continue to do so.
- If you need to end the trip due to the rider’s behaviour, ensure you do this in a safe manner. Never drop a rider in an unsafe location or in a dangerous position, like on a motorway or on a bridge. Ensure the area is well lit if it’s at night, and do not leave the rider stranded in the middle of nowhere. Somewhere safe might be at a service station, restaurant or shopping centre.
- Use the Emergency SOS button in your driver app and make sure you call emergency services if you feel threatened in any way at all. Whilst you need to keep your riders safe, you must also ensure that you are safe too.
- Remember you can always report bad riders to us for further investigation. Riders should always treat you with respect.
- If you have drunk customers in your car, keep an eye on the riders for signs of being sick, and try to have a plan in place for where you can safely pull over if you need to. Make sure you drive smoothly and keep fresh air circulating through the car.
- You could also keep vomit bags in a handy location for such emergencies.
- Keep an eye on how many passengers get into your car. Never allow more than 4 passengers in your car, unless you have an SUV that can fit more in, and refuse to start the trip if your car has too many passengers. Also, ensure all your riders have seat belts fitted!
- Don’t ever take advantage of drunk riders, this includes financially, by making the ride longer than it needs to be, or in any sexual way by inappropriately touching the passengers.
- If a passenger makes a mess in your car, never ask for money from the customer. Ola has a policy to deal with this situation you can read about here.