The Jakarta Post
Fearing begal (street robbers), a female taxi driver working for ride-hailing apps in Palembang, South Sumatra, has increased security measures to ensure her safety.
As robberies are rampant in the area, Valery, 42, decided to install a cage around her driver’s seat, creating a boundary between her seat and passenger seats.
“App-based taxi drivers often fall victim to criminal activity, which is why I decided to install [the cage],” Valery said as quoted by kompas.com.
The cage is layered with glass and acrylic. She paid Rp 700,000 (US49.88) for the cage, which is removable.
“What’s important is that I’m safe,” she said.
A taxi driver in Palembang was stabbed last Monday after trying to fight off passengers carrying knives who attempted to steal his car. The police have arrested one suspect, while they are still hunting down another.
In the past, the term begal motor was used to refer to robbers riding motorcycles. However, as crimes against taxi drivers have been on the rise, the term is also regularly used to describe people attempting to steal someone’s car.
Valery, who usually began work at 3 a.m., said many of her passengers supported her move.
“Many of my friends [fellow drivers] might also install cages,” she said. (gis)