WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - North Carolina legislators are working to improve the safety of ride-sharing after University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson was abducted and killed by a person impersonating an Uber driver.
Lawmakers announced the creation of the Passenger Protection Act in April, according to NC House Majority Leader John Bell. The bill mirrors legislation passed days earlier in the South Carolina House.
If the bill passes, it would require drivers to display an illuminated sign when they’re on the job and a printed license plate number on the front of their vehicle. The bill also creates a new criminal penalty for impersonating a rideshare driver.
Companies like Uber and Lyft would also have to provide passengers a photo of their driver, a description of the car picking them up, the vehicle’s license plate number and the driver’s real time location displayed on a map. Furthermore, the ride-sharing companies would have to maintain records of their services for a full year from the date the ride occurred and keep driver information a full year after the employee breaks ties with the company.
“While the horrific murder of Samantha Josephson brought this issue to the forefront of the news, the dangerous problem of ride-sharing impersonators has been going on for years across the country, especially around college campuses,” said Rep. Bell. “We believe this bill is the least intrusive and reasonable way to help passengers properly identify their vehicles. While we know it is not a fix-all, it is a step in the right direction and the start of a much-needed conversation about improving ride-sharing safety in North Carolina.”