ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. – Yesterday Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that adds more safety measures for rideshare passengers after the death of Robbinsville native and University of South Carolina student, Samantha “Sami” Josephson.
The bill requires rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber to add additional identification materials to drivers so passengers can correctly identify the rideshare vehicle.
The bill is named after Samantha “Sami” Josephson, who was killed earlier this year after she mistakenly got into a vehicle she thought was her Uber.
“This is a bitter-sweet day for the Josephsons. We want to thank the Assembly and Senate for unanimously passing Sami’s Law,” said Marci, Seymour, and Sydney Josephson. “We appreciate Governor Murphy accommodating us by signing the bill in Robbinsville, Samantha’s hometown. We are proud that New Jersey has taken the lead in making rideshare safer for everyone. We also want to thank our family, friends, and community for supporting us through this tough time.”
Rideshare companies must give two identifying markers to each driver that will be displayed on the front and rear window. The companies must also create and provide each driver with two copies of two-dimensional barcodes or other machine-readable codes, so riders can scan to confirm the identity of the rideshare. Finally, rideshre companies must make and assure two “credential placards” that will be displayed on driver and passenger side rear windows, that include the drivers name, photo, and license plate number.
“Every day, thousands of rideshare passengers entrust drivers to get them to and from home, school, and work safely and without delay,” said Governor Murphy. “Just one unscrupulous mind seeking to take advantage of those passengers is one too many, and it is our responsibility to keep riders safe. Today, I am proud to stand beside the Josephson family and legislative sponsors to enhance protections for New Jersey’s rideshare passengers, and ensure that Samantha Josephson’s tragic death is not in vain.”
Drivers who fail to comply will be subject to a fine of $250 and rideshare companies that fail to comply could have their permit to operate in the state suspended or revoked.
The new requirements will take effect in the next nine months.