Asbury Park Press article on passage of Smith bill'House passes 'Sami's Law,' ride-share safety bill named for slain NJ college student'
'It’s bittersweet,' says the father of Samantha Josephson of Robbinsville. 'We’d much rather have Samantha sitting with us here on the couch.'
By Michael L. Diamond, APP Staff Writer -
A bill named after Samantha Josephson, a college student from Robbinsville who was murdered by someone pretending to be her Uber driver, is a step closer to law.
The U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that in part would force ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to deploy technology that would match passengers with drivers before the ride begins.
"It’s bittersweet," Seymour Josephson, Samantha's father, said. "We’d much rather have Samantha sitting with us here on the couch, but to create a law so nobody else gets hurt is a good thing."
The bill was authored by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J. and was met with praise for both sides of the aisle during a deeply polarized time.
Josephson, 21, a student at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, was killed in March 2019 after she ordered an Uber ride and, authorities said, mistakenly got into a car driven by Nathaniel Rowland.
Her body was found in Clarendon County, South Carolina, and Rowland, then a 24-year-old from that area, was charged with her murder and kidnapping.
Among the provisions:
Josephson left behind hundreds of friends and family members, who gathered in her Mercer County hometown last year to remember a woman who at once was "kooky and laughable" and had earned a scholarship to attend law school at Drexel University.
On an early March morning, weeks before she was supposed to graduate, she called an Uber and got into a dark-colored Chevrolet Impala outside a bar in the Five Points District, a nightlife hot spot near the University of South Carolina.
Turkey hunters eventually discovered her body in a rural area near a dirt road. Police later determined she had been stabbed to death.This article ran on Page A-2 of the July 31, 2020 print edition of the Asbury Park Press, and can be found online at: