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Uber moves to prevent drowsy driving


Uber has introduced a new hour policy for driver-partners across Sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria to help enhance driver and passenger safety. The e-hailing firm said it is committed to doing its part to help prevent drowsy driving, as it has become an issue for all who share the road.The initiative, which kicked off on Monday is a new feature by the company launched across the country that prompts drivers to go offline for six straight hours after a total of 12 hours of driving time.

According to Uber, drivers who do not take a enough break will not be able to log into the app and take trips before that period expires.Uber already has features like an in-app notification that reminds drivers to take a break when feeling tired on the road and advises drivers with their community guidelines to take breaks if they are feeling tired.

The new driving hours policy is an additional feature that will help improve safety on the roads for all. General Manager for Uber West Africa, Lola Kassim, in a statement said: “We want to promote safe and responsible use of the Uber app and this feature has tremendous potential to protect not only Uber driver-partners; also their passengers and, all road users.

Driver-partners in Nigeria are already driving responsibly but safety is one of our key pillars and we believe this new feature will be adding one more safety layer.”In her words: “Last month we rolled out this feature across South Africa. Based on drivers’ feedback, the new feature is working well and has helped enhance driver and passenger safety. We are excited to roll this out across the rest of the region as this move will strengthen Uber’s approach to help keep riders and drivers safe on the road while preserving the flexibility drivers tell us they love, ” Kassim disclosed.

With the feature, driver-partners will be able to track the time they spend on Uber trips and will be reminded when they have reached their maximum time on the Uber app. It provides periodic notifications when drivers are approaching the 12-hour driving time limit and then will automatically go offline for six straight hours when their max has been reached, but drivers will be able to finish any trip they’re currently on.

After the six hours, driving time resets and drivers can go online again to receive trip requests. This will be a phased roll out and not all driver-partners will see this right away.To ensure drivers understand the rationale and the functionality of the feature, Uber has held various focus groups across their Greenlight Hubs (support centres) and has announced the feature through podcasts, which can be accessed through the app.

To this end, drivers have expressed the need for information and education sessions, which the e-hailing firm have implemented, these include sessions which provides advice and examples such as how this will impact their businesses and how they can put together a responsible schedule for their small business.

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