When I first started driving, my father told me never to let a stranger get into my car. He didn’t need to tell me, though. It just sounded like a terrible idea.
These days, people make money doing just that. After all, what is Uber or Lyft other than a service that allows you to take strangers around town for money?
It still sounds like a bad idea, but I get why people do it. I like the concept and have friends who have made ends meet during lean times by driving for Uber, but the problem is that you don’t get to vet the people who are going to get into your car. There’s still a risk.
Then, to top it off, Uber has a no-gun policy.
Now, one driver who used his firearm to stop a driver who was out of control is worried about losing his gig with the rideshare service.
Uber driver credited with helping to stop an out-of-control driver on New Year’s Eve is worried that he might lose his job because he used a gun to stop the man.
Ian Kelley said an out-of-control pickup truck barreled past him on Islington Street in Portsmouth while he was responding to an Uber call on New Year’s Eve.
“I thought this man might be having a medical emergency behind the wheel, because there were no brake lights, just full throttle,” Kelley said.
He said he followed the vehicle as it blew through an intersection and crashed into a restaurant. Kelley said that when he got out to help, the crashed truck was revving in reverse as another driver pulled up behind it.
“That’s when the man in the pickup truck looked back and said, ‘I’ll kill you. Get out of my way,’” Kelley said.
He said his instinct was to stop the man, so he pulled out the gun he carries, aimed it at the driver and told him to turn off the engine.
The driver had hit several cars prior to this and was arrested for that, DWI, and drug possession.
Law enforcement thanked Kelley, who was legally carrying his firearm, but now the man is worried about losing his job.
Frankly, he shouldn’t have to.
I tend to be very much of the opinion that private companies should be free to do pretty much whatever they want, but I have a serious issue with companies that put their people in danger by requiring them to be disarmed in situations where that’s just a bad idea. Yes, that includes allowing strangers in your car, but it also involves just dealing with jackwagons on the streets.
By requiring employees and contractors to be unarmed, they have told these people that if they find they need to defend themselves for whatever reason, they’re out of luck. “Thank you for your service, please don’t bleed out on any company property before you die.”
Sounds harsh? Well, it needs to be harsher. Policies like this can get people killed.
I hope that Uber will have the good sense to keep Kelley driving for them. If not, it might be time for one of you enterprising and technically savvy people to create a competitor that requires drivers to be armed. That would be the service I’d want to use, especially if I have to be disarmed for some reason.