Some couriers still on roads in Istanbul despite snow ban
With Istanbul on weather alert due to heavy snowfall that has gripped the city, motorcycle couriers have been banned from delivering orders due to slippery roads that could lead to accidents, but some of them are still out there working despite measures imposed.
Regular motorcycles and electric scooters will also be off the roads until further notice. The same measure was also taken by local officials in January when a powerful snowstorm crippled the megacity.
The announcement came from the office of the city’s Governor Ali Yerlikaya.
However, some delivery riders are still on the roads despite the ban.
“Yes, it is difficult to drive around in this weather, but I have to make a living,” said Hakan Taşdemir, a delivery rider, explaining why he is ignoring the ban.
Murat Derincan, another courier, said they are used to delivering orders under such difficult conditions.
But one motorcycle courier was angry, particularly at those who order food.
“There was this customer who placed an order and attached a note which read, ‘I will appreciate it if you deliver it quickly as I have to go to bed early.’ Please, make some effort, take the trouble to cook your own food for at least one week in a year when it snows,” Musa Pişkin said.
Pişkin said he works until 8 a.m., adding, “Nobody cares about the ban, and customers are not very understanding.”
“There are also those people who do not even bother to come down to pick up the order. If their apartment’s main entrance door is broken, they just drop the key to the door from their windows so that we could go up to hand the order to them.”
He recalled that last year he had an accident and spent two months in the hospital. “Yes, we have chosen this profession, but it doesn’t mean we have to work in such weather conditions.”
The dangerous and uncertain working conditions of motorcycle couriers were widely debated during the pandemic when they continued to deliver orders as people had to stay at their homes due to curfews.
There were hailed as “saviors” and “heroes,” but many of them lost their lives while trying to deliver orders as quickly as possible.
The number of motorcycle couriers who died in traffic accidents amid the pandemic has risen 10 times compared to the previous year, according to the Federation of All Anatolian Motorcycle Couriers (TAMKF).
It said nearly 200 couriers died between March 2020 and March 2021 alone. The number of deaths among motorcycle couriers was 19 in 2019.