Folks using Uber after a tipsy night strolling down Canton Street should ride a little easier, Roswell police say.
The department’s 911 dispatchers now have software that lets them see information — vehicle make, model, license plate number and real-time location — when calling about an emergency.
John Potrzebowski, the city’s 911 deputy director, said Monday that the free service had been in testing but is nowlive.
He said it works through the app and is available to riders and drivers. When a ride is active, there’s a safety function with an option to call 911. When called through the app, Roswell dispatchers see details that help emergency responders find the car.
Instead of triangulating cell phone towers to give the caller’s general location, Potrzebowski said “we get constant updates on travel path.” He said he didn’t know how many Uber rides people in Roswell take a day, but he said some have already used the service.
Potrzebowski said integration of the newsoftware has been helpful in other cities when people find themselves with a drunk driver or a belligerent rider.
The software company, RapidSOS, said in August that 250 cities and counties are using the service. Potrzebowski said RapidSOS told them Roswell is the first in North Fulton to offer it.
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Uber made a push toward increasing safety last year after a tragic incident. A 21-year-old University of South Carolina student, Samantha Josephson, was allegedly abducted from a popular college nightlife area and killed by a man she thought was her Uber driver. Nathaniel David Rowland, 24, awaits trial on his charges of kidnapping and murder.
Potrzebowski said the new service works with providers that allow phone calls and the use of data at the same time.
He said he felt it was important that the city gives Roswell residents and visitors every opportunity to get help.
“If you don’t know if you’re in an emergency and should call 911?” he said. “Call 911.”
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