In an attempt to reduce traffic violations by time-strapped delivery partners of food aggregators and restaurants, the Mumbai traffic police have issued notices to Swiggy, Zomato and Domino’s, asking them to stop their delivery partners from committing traffic violations, Mid-Day reported.  The police have reportedly asked the companies to delink the performance of the driver from the time taken by them to deliver orders and instead, use a system where drivers are rated partly based on the delivery time and partly on whether they are driving safely.

Police say companies also to blame: The traffic police catch around 30 drivers every day for violations of traffic norms and blame the companies for this to some extent as the apps require the drivers to reach within a particular time period, according to Mid-Day. They have also told the companies to check driving licences of driving partners prior to hiring them and making sure that they do not have any pending challans. The move reportedly comes after initial fines for traffic violations and training sessions on traffic sensitisation for the drivers turned out to be unsuccessful deterrents.

As per Mid-Day, the joint commissioner of police said that the police will take stricter action against the companies if there is no “significant” decline in the number of violations by March. Zomato and Swiggy reportedly denied penalising drivers for late deliveries.

Delivery promises by the companies

  • In December 2019, Zomato had released their “On time or free” feature for customers in some cities of India. The feature guarantees priority delivery within a given time range or a monetary coupon in case the delivery partner does not fulfill the order in the given time. However, Zomato has claimed that the delivery partners are not even made aware of this time constraint and hence there is no chance of them breaking traffic rules under pressure.
  • Domino’s “30 minutes or free pizza” policy guarantees free pizza to customers if their orders, under INR 300, do not reach them within 30 minutes. The company also claims that it does not penalise the drivers for not delivering the pizza on time.
  • Swiggy has an express delivery feature that guarantees faster delivery for certain restaurants.

No penalties? While the companies claim that they do not penalise the drivers for late deliveries, it might be possible that late deliveries by partners lead to lower ratings by customers, which in turn impact how the drivers are penalised. We have reached out to Swiggy and Zomato to seek clarification on how the rating system works and whether or not the companies penalise drivers with lower ratings.