COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – A new law signed by President Biden Friday will help protect the safety of riders on popular ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft.
H.R. 1082, also known as “Sami’s Law”, requires the Government Accountability Office to study and submit a biennial report to Congress detailing the incidence of assaults involving drivers and passengers of for-hire vehicles.
The legislation, spearheaded by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.), was named after University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson following her tragic death in 2019.
According to the Columbia Police Department, 21-year-old Josephson called an Uber after a night out in Five Points in Columbia, S.C. She got into a vehicle she believed was her ride, but was in fact the wrong car. Josephson was kidnapped and murdered by the driver of that car, Nathaniel Rowland.
Josephson’s death sparked a nationwide push for increased awareness of rideshare dangers and a wave of enhanced safety measures from leading companies. Her parents established the ‘What’s My Name Foundation’ to honor their daughter and educate others.
Just weeks after her death, South Carolina lawmakers passed the Samantha L. Josephson Ridesharing Safety Act, which requires drivers in the state to display their license plate number on the front of their vehicle while picking up passengers. Josephson’s home state of New Jersey passed similar legislation the following month.