Ride-sharing cars need mandatory inspections, coroner says

A Quebec coroner says inter-city ride-sharing cars should undergo mandatory inspections.

Jean Brochu says passengers who use such services are essentially taking their lives into their own hands.

In October 2016, 30-year-old Katy Torres Davila was killed in a crash on her way from Ottawa to Montreal using a vehicle booked through a ride-sharing service called Amigo Express.

Torres Davila was in the front seat of the car, with another passenger in the backseat. In a heavy rain, the driver lost control and skidded off the road, going across the median and smashing into a minivan on the eastbound Trans-Canada Highway in St. Lazare.

Torres Davila died, while the driver and passenger were badly injured. Neither would speak with authorities about the crash, or what they knew about the car's roadworthiness.

It turned out the rear tires were bald, and a different size than those in the front of the car. The brake pads, meantime, were worn down, or just about worn down.

Brochu is looking to raise awareness about what kinds of risks passengers are taking if they do business with ride-sharing services.

"Essentially, my intention in bringing the report to public awareness, is people have to know that when they do business with a service like this — there is no guarantee. If you take a taxi or a bus you know the driver or the vehicle itself are submitted to very strict control and maintenance obligations, while with Amigo Express, they say that the driver is supposed to be okay in the car — but there's no guarantee," said Brochu.