Grandmother Becomes Uber Driver to Help Young Women Get Home Safely

PHOTO: Kathy Raydings, known as "Grandma Uber," with one of her passengers, Gabby Roach.Courtesy Kathy Raydings
Kathy Raydings, known as "Grandma Uber," with one of her passengers, Gabby Roach.

This Australian Uber driver is on a mission -- ensuring that young women get home safely, in hopes of preventing possible sexual assaults.

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Her name is Kathy Raydings, but she's more often referred to as Grandma Uber. She's been on the road for about seven months, picking up 480 to 500 male and female passengers per week.

"I needed to find a way to work for myself, doing something that I enjoyed," Raydings told ABC News, adding that a "serious work accident" left her looking for a new job and in need of financial support.

Raydings, 57, decided to become a driver and discovered a newfound joy in her new job -- ensuring young women got home safely.

"They are among our most precious and most vulnerable citizens in society, especially if they have been out late and are potentially intoxicated," the Brisbane, Queensland, woman said.

"It's every young woman's right to have fun, be young and enjoy life. This should be possible for them without the risk of deviant, ill-intentioned drivers taking advantage of their youth and intoxicated state in a negative way," she continued.

Raydings added that she's heard "so many horrendous stories of young women suffering sexual assault when all they are trying to do finish their night, be sensible and go home to their parents. It's my calling to get them home."

In the U.S., Uber reported that between December 2012 and August 2015, there were 170 "legitimate" claims of sexual assault by drivers, which breaks down to 1 incident in every 3.3 million trips.

Raydings said she feels "totally proud" to take care of all of her passengers.

"I go to bed at night knowing that I am making some small, positive difference to these girls' lives," she added, "and it's the best feeling in the whole world."

Raydings said she hopes to expand Grandma Uber "all over Australia."

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