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Bolt will verify driver details with the directorate of criminal investigation (DCI)

Taxi-hailing company Bolt has announced that it will start checking new driver details with the DCI to in an effort to prevent drivers with past criminal records from operating on its platform. The process will involve re-checking records of current drivers as well as those onboarding on its platform. This will be inline with most companies with a similar business model who perform background checks to rid-out potential criminals from their platforms.

The latest initiative is aimed at boosting customer safety which has been a major concern for most operators in the industry. There are several reports from Bolt as well as other operators like Little Cab and Uber with regard to customers who ended up being robbed of their belongings or in some worse situations participated in a criminal act like murder.  

In most instances, taxi drivers on various platforms are expected to have a valid driver’s license, a clearance certificate from the police when onboarding. Other details required when joining include vehicle registration details as well as proof of insurance.

When a driver is determined to have a criminal or questionable background from the vetting process, Bolt intents to block their accounts. There are some measures that Bolt currently implements to ensure riders are safe when using their platform such as the ability to share their ETA, which basically allows riders to share their live trip details with their emergency contact numbers.

Speaking on the development, Bolt’s country manager Ola Akinnus said the taxi hailing firm had reinforced its screening process and was assessing drivers keenly for any criminal offences in real-time by conducting inspections of their vehicles as well as availing training sessions in safety to deal with various situations, calmly and if possible, avoiding them.

The company has also enhanced the SOS emergency button by integrating emergency tracking device as well as an auto location trailing feature. Bolt, formerly Taxify has been full of controversy, with an incident reported during its initial days of operation where a driver physically abused a customer for paying the amount shown on the app which was less than what the driver expected.

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