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Lyft drivers face dangers and even gunfire when giving rides

Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 6:31 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Lyft Drivers can take you where you need to go safely, but some have found their lives in jeopardy. One driver recently encountered a customer with a gun who didn’t want to pay a fee. As a result, he and others are often in fear when behind the wheel on a rideshare.

“It’s a decent job, but also it’s dangerous,” said a Lyft driver who wants to be identified at ‘Larry.’

He captured dashcam video of a shot fired on January 12. The rideshare driver said when he went to a house on Northside Drive near State Street, the rider wasn’t ready and told him to cancel. Larry said he refused but later began the cancellation transaction. The rider did not want to pay the $5.00 cancellation fee.

“He waited until about 40 seconds before my time was up, and he came outside, and he fired a round into the air in an attempt to scare me away so I couldn’t cancel the ride near his house,” said Larry.

The 31-year-old has dealt with customers who refused to wear masks, which is a company requirement, and customers who were intoxicated and verbally abusive. He said the company takes the customers’ word over drivers, and without his dashcam, his account would have been banned.

“It’s really not safe out here,” said the driver. “They don’t really expect us to have any type of protection. We’re not allowed to have any protection.”

In November, Lyft driver Brandy Littrell was shot seven times by a passenger she picked up in Byram and drove to Wimbledon Court in Jackson. Jackson Police identified him as Dontarius McGee. He then told her to get out of the car and walk into the woods, where she was shot but survived.

Larry hopes more will be done by companies to protect the drivers as well as passengers.

“It’s very dangerous just because of the fact we don’t know whose getting in our vehicles,” said Larry.” We never know what’s on their minds. We never know what objectives they have.”

Larry said Lyft drivers are not permitted to carry firearms for protection. Instead, he uses a dashcam to record his rides and riders as a safety measure.

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