The young man got out of the office cab in the layout and said “good morning”.
“Good morning, you coming from the office ?” I asked.
“Yes, I am late today “.
“What’s your shift timing?”
“ I leave home at 4.30 in the evening for office and return around 4.30 in the morning “
I looked at the time and said its 6, what happened ?
“Well, we had this girl in the cab, who was busy texting on her whatsapp, missed to tell the driver, the direction to her drop point, he kept driving, when she realised they traveled quite a distance towards electronic city and lost their way .”
“ Was he a new driver ?”
“Yes, we have different drivers, they are not the same everyday”
“That’s irresponsible on her part”, I said.
He continued, “yes, and she did not know the way to her house from there. It took us a while to retract the lost route and to find the house”.
“Where is the place “ I asked
“ I do not know the exact place, its somewhere near HSR layout”, he said
“HSR ?, How come you are still in the vehicle when it is going this way to HSR layout ?” I asked.
“Oh, we have a policy for transport, that says the woman in a cab should not be the last person to be dropped, security reason, so I have to travel extra, few days in a week” he said.
I asked him “what’s the idea, are you the security ?”
“Well, last guy in the cab has that role. In this particular case, the lady has to be escorted home from her drop point since there is no approach road that can accommodate the Van to her house, at dawn, when it is dark” he said,
“ the driver escorted her on foot, while I waited in the van.”
“while I was waiting, a police patrol stopped near our vehicle and the cop asked me what am I here for, at this hour “.
Oh my, I did not want to interrupt him, a thriller was on its way and I was hoping no damage has happened.
“ I told him that I am waiting for the driver who is escorting a lady home on foot” he said.
“The cop raised his voice, what the hell is this, we have been dealing with crimes in company cabs and issues with drivers and here you say, a driver is escorting a lady, what’s your name, number and the company address”
“What a situation to be in, and then ? “ I asked.
“They waited for the driver to be back, and we had to take the shouting for no fault of ours. They left the scene, grumbling that they will take up with the company”.
We have heard of rapes and murders, in the company cabs. When they happened, lot of companies, held meetings and drew transport and security policies to prevent similar disasters. One of the security measure is no lady will be the last one to be dropped home. There should be at least one male employee, even he has to detour a few extra miles to reach his destination, to see the lady home safe. He is expected to be as heroic as a Rajnikanth or Salman Khan, to tackle four or five attackers and save a lady in distress, worse, even get killed, if that is the best he can do.
Many companies have good security measures, like GPS tracking, acknowledgement of safe reaching, accompaniment of professional security, background check of the transport staff members and others, however, many do not and some among the many may have policies documented, not implemented seriously.
There is another danger, which you may not find a mention of, anywhere, the overworked drivers dozing off while driving and the possible consequences.
Do not wait until the next happening, take a lead and check with your company transport system, periodically review and ensure that the security measures are in place and the process is working.