If you ask any local government about ride sharing services, they’ll tell you about the pros and cons. On the con side, the drivers and the industry are unregulated, so the city has a harder time controlling what these drivers can and can’t do. Also on the con side, companies like Uber and Left tend to make cab companies unhappy because they take away their fares and are, on most occasions, less expensive than a cab.
But the positives of ride sharing services, for the places that have them in place in Canada, far outweigh the negatives, and one of the biggest pros for ride sharing is that they are more readily available than cabs. A recent fatal crash in Halifax is the perfect example of what can happen when a cab isn’t around for a group of people who have been drinking.
Four people were out for the night, and they had a designated driver who made the mistake of drinking too. They decided to call a cab, and when they did they were told it would be a two hour wait.
Two hours is a long time to wait for any cab, but when you’re already intoxicated and it’s in the early hours of the morning, it can feel like an eternity. That’s why they decided to make the wrong choice and all got into the car with someone who was drunk and driving on a suspended license.
Unfortunately they didn’t make it home, because the driver crashed the vehicle and ended up killing two of his passengers and seriously injuring the third passenger. He’s since been sentenced to four and a half years in prison, and during his trial he told the judge that he drove because his friends didn’t want to wait two hours for the cab.
Whether or not the cab would have actually taken two hours to arrive is up for debate. What’s not up for debate is that the driver should never have been tempted to pick up the keys if he was both drunk and without a valid driver’s license.
This case is a good example of why ride sharing should be an option in all Canadian cities, and why Nova Scotia might want to take another look at their strict ride sharing regulations. These companies have the technology and availability to offer another choice to drunk drivers, and although someone may make the decision to drink and drive despite the choice of designated driver, many would not, and lives really are saved in the process.
This page is also available in: French