News Shady Drivers

Child Left in Heat at IAH TNC Staging Lot

Houston – On August 18, 2019 a Facebook user submitted a photo to a Uber Drivers group showing a young kid, (possibly early teens) waiting in the lot without parental supervision, while the “parent” allegedly went and completed a ride. There is no word on how long the kid was left out there for but there are more than a few reasons why you shouldn’t do this. Airport operations was alerted, no word on if they showed up before the parent did.

First of all, that kid is technically trespassing. Only authorized drivers are allowed to wait there (meaning you need to have a permit on your vehicle.

Secondly, in the middle of the Houston summer, the heat is no joke. A kid left unattended is NOT going to consume water like he/she should which could lead to a heat stroke. (Earlier this year, a driver did pass out in his car, by the time others realized and called an ambulance it was too late. No word why, but a heat related condition was likely (at least) a factor.)

Some drivers who commented, pointed out that maybe the parent asked other drivers to watch the kid. You know, as much as we are competition to one another (a driver next to you can literally get a ride that can make or break your day) we also look out for one another. If a driver asked me to watch their kids for a few minutes, I would most likely oblige. But, that does not make it right. What if I get a ride? Do I hand that care over to another driver I do not really know personally?

The truth of the matter is, there have been plenty of drivers (even though a small fraction of the total number of drivers) that have been found committing heinous crimes against their riders and others. The background check, while good, does not catch everything. City of Houston easily proved this. Furthermore, you only have a record if you were caught. Many sexual crimes, for example, go unreported, because of both embarrassment and fear. The truth is, you really do not know these drivers and their pasts. Heck, I was picked up by a driver once that did not look like the one on the app. When I realized this, I made up a story about how I forgot to do something and reported him to Lyft. No word on if the account was deactivated. (he was about 20 years older than the photo on the app, Lyft, much less smartphones did not come out that long ago.) There is nothing stopping a driver from using a friends or family members account.

Some other drivers commented, that maybe the parent did not have a place to take the kid. Maybe the other parent was supposed to and never did. While this happens a lot, the driver should have drove the kid the home and left them there, instead of the blistering heat. If the kid is old enough to be left a lone in a crowd of strangers, then being left at home should be okay.

Of course, there was always the one driver that said, “maybe not enough gas money to get the kid home.” This really falls back on the parent for not being financially responsible, but at the same time we can place this on Uber and Lyft. At 60 cents a mile, compared to a yellow cab at $2.20 a mile, this really puts a burden on families. Either you drive, or you don’t eat nor have gas. Even if rates were doubled to just $1.20, this parent would of had double the money they did that day. Surely, that would of been good enough to get the kid back home, in a/c, and a safe environment.

No matter how you look at it, that lot is not for a kid. Forget the strangers, and record breaking heat, what about second hand smoke? There is not a designated smoking area in that lot. Second hand smoke they say is worse than actually smoking it. Not to mention, that kid is watching all of these “cool” grown ups smoking. It is really not a great place for a kid. Let’s not even talk about the port a potties.

Of course, the parent could of left the kid there as a punishment for not doing their schoolwork, which is really not a bad idea. “Don’t want to do your schoolwork? Look what will happen.”

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