Quebec’s coroner has called for the province’s auto insurance board to better regulate ridesharing companies, ensuring their vehicles meet basic safety standards.
Coroner Jean Brochu gave his recommendation to the Société d'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) after examining a 2016 accident involving one rideshare passenger.
In the case, 30-year-old PhD student Katy Torres was in the passenger seat of a ridesharing vehicle when the automobile swerved into oncoming traffic and hit a van.
At the time of the accident, Torres had been using the ridesharing service Amigo Express to get to Montreal. She was fatally injured in the collision, while her driver and another passenger suffered injuries.
Brochu’s report noted that heavy rain made driving difficult on the day of the collision. But he also detailed that the vehicle belonging to the Amigo Express driver had brakes and rear wheels that were in extremely poor condition.
Although Amigo Express has guidelines that state drivers must ensure that their vehicles are properly maintained before each trip, Brochu said that this is difficult to enforce.
“You can have drivers with excellent vehicles, but you can also get just anyone as a driver, and just any old vehicle,” the coroner said in his report.
He then recommended that SAAQ conduct annual inspections of ridesharing vehicles.
CBC News reported that other coroners have made the same recommendations in the past. The provincial insurance board, however, has yet to follow through.
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