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    Tuesday, April 2, 2024

    Bolt Hosts Inaugural Driver-Led Safety Summit in Benin

    reiterates commitment to driver and rider safety.

    In its commitment to continue to uphold safety and security within the ride-hailing ecosystem, Bolt, the leading on-demand platform in Africa, hosted a Driver-Led Safety Summit in Benin City on Wednesday, March 27, 2024.

    Themed ‘Safe for All: Navigating the Future of Ride-Hailing’, the event brought together driver-partners, experts from the industry, and key government figures, including representatives from the Edo State Transport Authority, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO), Edo State Information, Communication, Technology, drivers, and the Amalgamated Union of App-Based Transporters of Nigeria.

    The event symbolises a pivotal milestone in fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing within the ride-hailing community. As the summit participants collectively drive the wheels of safety forward, it reinforces the shared commitment to creating a sustainable and safe environment for all.

    “It is the responsibility of all drivers to ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy just as it’s the responsibility of government to ensure the roads are in good condition said Mrs. Edugie Agbonlahor, the Managing Director of the Edo State Transport Authority (ESTA), She commends Bolt for this inaugural summit, stating safety is a key characteristic for preserving and enhancing the state’s ride-hailing ecosystem. To foster a conducive environment for ride-hailing operations ESTA has developed a ride-hailing regulation. Once gazetted, this regulation would serve as the regulatory framework governing the ride-hailing ecosystem to promote orderliness, eradicate the misconception that ride-hailing drivers are traditional car hire, and curb harassment by local government task forces.”

    The State is also looking to adopt technology by introducing API integration with operators and issuing visual identifiers for ride-hailing drivers, exempting them from daily ticketing and facilitating smoother interactions with local authorities which underscores the collaborative efforts between government and industry stakeholders to ensure the safety and sustainability of ride-hailing operations in Edo State.

    David Bulafkin, Global Partners Community Manager at Bolt said: Safety matters to us - not just for drivers but for riders too. As an enabler of safety in the ride-hailing community, Bolt has continually put measures in place to ensure a safe environment for everyone through the implementation of trip-share, audio trip recording, emergency assist button, and driver-selfie verification. Leveraging its successful roll-out of driver selfie verification which curbed and reduced driver impersonation on the platform, Bolt has commenced testing rider selfies in various cities across Nigeria as an extra layer to enhance safety and security.

    Weyinmi Aghadiuno, Senior Public Policy Manager, West, North, and Central Africa said: "At Bolt, we recognise safety as a collective responsibility, with our driver partners being integral to our service. Their welfare is our top concern. Through collaboration with drivers and key regulatory bodies present here today, we are committed to fostering open dialogue, providing education, improving our safety features, and working together to enhance safety in Benin. This summit serves as a vital platform for sharing insights, exchanging ideas, and collectively striving to ensure the safety of all stakeholders within the ride-hailing ecosystem. Bolt will rise to action and work towards implementing these initiatives."

    The Driver-Led Safety Summit's agenda included a series of interactive workshops, panel discussions, and informative sessions. Topics covered ranged from both driver and rider safety, road safety best practices as well as addressing challenges faced by drivers and law enforcement in ensuring safety on the road.

    Key initiatives explored at the Summit include:

    • Rider Verification: Implementing a rider verification process by collecting passengers' national identification numbers and validating them for enhanced safety and security.
    • Enhanced Safety Communications: Launching a robust safety communications campaign to raise awareness among both drivers and riders about best practices and safety guidelines.
    • Offline Trips: Drivers were advised to desist from engaging in offline activities as it is a deterrent to the safety of drivers and passengers.
    • Flagging High-Risk Areas: Identifying and highlighting high-risk areas to drivers and riders to exercise caution.
    • Security Training: Providing comprehensive security training to equip our drivers and riders with the necessary skills to handle challenging situations effectively.

    Bolt is committed to ensuring the ride-hailing ecosystem is safe for all by collaborating with stakeholders to navigate the loopholes in steering the wheels of safety and security for the benefit of drivers and riders.

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