APP story on Sami's Law'Smith calls for improved safety for Uber and Lyft'
Asbury Park Press USA TODAY NETWORK - NEW JERSEY
WASHINGTON - Legislation that would require enhanced safety measures for ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft is being advanced by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., and has bipartisan support on Capitol Hill.
The proposal for a new law comes several weeks after Samantha Josephson, 21, a University of South Carolina student from Robbinsville in Mercer County, was murdered after authorities said she accidentally got into a car she mistook for her Uber ride. Josephson’s hometown is part of Smith’s congressional district.
On Wednesday, three days before their daughter would have graduated from college, Seymour and Marci Josephson are scheduled to be in Washington with Smith. The congressman has joined Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., to urge their colleagues in both houses to support strong legislative and policy protections for all ride-share passengers, said Matt Hadro, a Smith spokesman.
Such measures would include as mandatory front and rear license plates, a scannable “quick response” (QR) code on passenger windows, and illuminated windshield signs visible in
Seymour and Marci Josephson smile as Samantha Josephson’s friends talk about the good times at a memorial service. Josephson was killed after she mistakenly got into a car which she thought was an Uber ride. Now Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., is calling for new ride-sharing safety measures.PETER ACKERMAN/ASBURY PARK PRESS
Samantha Josephson was found dead in Columbia, S.C.SUBMITTED
the day and at night from 50 feet.
“Through their sorrow and unimaginable loss, the Josephsons are courageously working in Sami’s memory to protect ride-share passengers and help prevent future tragedies like hers from occurring,” Smith said. “I am working with them to ensure passage of legislative and policy changes to boost passenger safety and crack down on predators posing as ride-share drivers.”
Samantha Josephson was found dead on March 29, one day after she got into the wrong vehicle. The driver, Nathaniel Rowland, has been charged with murder and kidnapping, among other charges.
“The legislation we are writing is named after Sami, to set up national safety standards that would save lives,” Smith said.
In response to their daughter’s death, the Josephsons are now seeking to educate ride-share passengers on the best safety practices, using the acronym SA- M-I for “Stop, Ask, Match, Inform” to teach riders to be alert to their surroundings, ensure the car they are entering is the correct ride-share vehicle, ask the driver to identify them by name, and tell friends to track their ride, Hardro said.
On Wednesday, the Josephsons were to meet with members of Congress and their staffs, and officials from President Donald Trump’s administration, which Smith helped to set up.Those officials include:
❚ Heidi King, Deputy Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
❚ House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.)
❚ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (DCalif.)
❚ U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.)
❚ U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.)
❚ Staff for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
❚ House Minority Leader Kevin Mc-Carthy (R-Calif.)
❚ Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), ranking member, House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit
❚ House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La)
❚ Staff for U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (RMiss.)
❚ U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.)
❚ Staff for U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (DOre.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee “We have to emphasize accountability for ride-share companies and drivers,” Smith said. “Legislation to require these safety measures would be a critical step in protecting ride-share passengers.”
Erik Larsen: 732-682-9359 or email@example.com
The Josephsons are now seeking to educate ride-share passengers on the best safety practices, using the acronym S-A-M-I (“Stop, Ask, Match, Inform.”)
U.S. Rep. Chris Smith at Friendship Baptist Church in Asbury Park earlier this year. DOUG HOOD/ASBURY PARK PRESS