Uber, Lyft drivers hold meeting after passenger sexual assaulted near VCU

Official Uber and Lyft drivers are required to have this symbol on their car (Source: NBC12)
Official Uber and Lyft drivers are required to have this symbol on their car (Source: NBC12)
Updated: Feb. 7, 2018 at 11:09 PM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Police are still looking for the Uber driver accused of sexually assaulting a woman near the VCU campus.

Police say the assault happened early Sunday morning, during her ride through the city.

While the investigation continues, a group of Uber and Lyft drivers met Wednesday night to discuss the ways to keep both drivers and passengers safe.

"One of the things that we always advocate for is for people doing the right things the right way, and to be as safe as possible," said Jeff "DiscoRideGuy."

As one of the organizers of RVA Ride Share Partners, Jeff "DiscoRideGuy," as he's known on Uber, is urging drivers and especially passengers to be vigilant after Sunday's incident.

His group met at JJ's Bar and Grille off Staples Mill Road, to make sure all drivers are enforcing the rules and to prevent something like this from happening again.

"If they are an official Uber or Lyft driver, they should have this symbol right here on their car. This is required by law for us to carry," said Jeff. "You don't know what random car you are getting into if they don't have the trade dress, because there is no confirmation that that driver is an Uber or a Lyft driver unless they just say they are."

It's illegal for passengers to request an Uber or Lyft while getting in the vehicle. On the flip side, driver's can't accept passengers that haven't requested an official ride. This is to ensure there is a digital record the ride from start to finish.

Passengers should also make sure the license plate number and car model matches the description listed on the app.

"If there's a bad driver out there... it reflects on all of us," said Uber driver Eric Lee.

Lee has been an Uber driver for three years and says if you ever question the validity of an Uber driver... your best bet is to find a new driver.

"If you feel uncomfortable as a driver picking up a passenger, we don't have to pick you up, but it works for a passenger as well. If you feel uncomfortable when your driver shows up and you think something's not right, don't get in the car. Cancel the Uber," said Lee.

"We want to make sure that everything is done the right way, so if something does happen - forbid that something bad would happen - that we are protected on both sides," said Jeff.

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