DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF) —

With these violent incidents against rideshare drivers increasing in Ohio and across the country, Legal Rideshare LLC started a fund for rideshare drivers to obtain free dashboard cameras for driver and rider protections.

Dash cams are common in police cars to provide evidence and transparency, with the same goals in mind for ones in rideshare cars.

“A lot of these drivers are sitting ducks for criminals,” Bryant Greening, Attorney and Co-Founder of Legal Rideshare LLC said. “We’ve seen a large uptick in crimes against these individuals.”

The Driver Safety Fund is a $25,000 fund providing free dash cams to workers on service apps like Uber, Lyft, Door Dash, and others.

“We believe that the dash camera is the single most important safety tool that a driver can have,” Greening said. “It serves as both a deterrent to potential bad actors and it also allows police and lawyers to have access to real-time evidence.”

Today’s robbery and deadly shooting are not isolated instances. In the last year, violent acts against drivers have been popping up in Cincinnati , Columbus and nationwide.

“The nature of gig work is dangerous,” Greening said. “A lot of times drivers are curbed, their doors are unlocked, and they’re anticipating that people will be approaching their vehicle. So, their guards are down, and criminals are preying on these workers.”

After today’s incidents, a spokesperson for Lyft telling Dayton 24/7 Now:

“Safety is fundamental to Lyft, and the actions that led to the events of this morning are reprehensible. Our hearts are with the driver’s loved ones during this incredibly difficult time, as well as with an additional driver who was impacted by this behavior. We’ve reached out to law enforcement to offer our assistance with their investigation, and we’ll continue our efforts to combat this senseless violence and help keep drivers safe.”

Greening says drivers need to trust their instincts.

“If something doesn’t feel right about a ride, do not hesitate to cancel it,” he said. “Many drivers are hesitant to cancel rides because of retribution from the company for fear of losing a couple dollar fare.”

LegalRideshare is putting up all the money for The Driver Safety Fund, $5,000 of which will go to dash cams. The remaining $20,000 is to provide rewards for information leading to convictions for crimes against gig workers.

If you are an Ohio-based gig driver and would like to get a free dashcam. Follow the steps below:

Emailing their full name, current address, and a screenshot of their app-based driver profile (from Uber, Lyft, Postmates, etc.) to Help@LegalRideshare.com.

Any person with information leading directly to the arrest and conviction of an individual who assaults or carjacks an Ohio-based gig worker is eligible to receive a $1,000 reward through the Driver Safety Fund. To be eligible for the reward, the information must be provided to the local police department and LegalRideshare within one week of the alleged crime, and must result in a successful conviction. Information should be sent to Help@LegalRideshare.com.

*By Bennett Wise, ABC6 Columbus Ohio*

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