TRENTON, NJ - Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. and Senator Linda Greenstein, which would require ridesharing companies to issue and display company identification on their vehicles, was advanced by the Senate Thursday.
The bill, “Sami’s Law,” is named after Samantha Josephson, a Robbinsville resident killed about 65 miles outside Columbia, South Carolina on March 29 when she entered a vehicle she believed was the Uber car she had requested.
“Words cannot express the gratitude I have for the Josephson family for their courage has been the driver in advancing this essential legislation. It’s a tragedy we had to lose a young person with a promising career in order to address the issue of rider safety,” said Sen. Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “The bill will educate and protect users and hopefully prevent future incidents from occurring again.”
The bill, S-3687, would require identifying markers issued by a ridesharing company to be displayed by each company driver. Each marker would also need to be reflective and/or capable of being illuminated. The bill would require a driver to display the identifying markers on the front windshield and rear window of the driver’s personal vehicle while the driver is logged on to the company’s digital network as a driver or is providing a prearranged ride.
“By placing a greater emphasis on visual safeguards, riders would be able to identify key items to confirm they are entering a credentialed ridesharing vehicle,” said Sen. Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Ridesharing services have become increasingly popular and Sami’s tragedy could have happened to anyone. This bill would honor Sami’s life and help promote public safety.”
The bill also would require that if the identifying markers are capable of being illuminated, the driver has to have the identifying markers illuminated and visible from outside of the vehicle while the driver is logged on to the company’s digital network during times of darkness, or is providing a pre-arranged ride during times of darkness. The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 38-0 and now heads to Gov. Phil Murphy's desk.