RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina lawmakers are looking at ways to make ride-sharing safer less than a month after a University of South Carolina student was kidnapped and killed.
Police said USC senior Samantha Josephson mistakenly got into a car she thought was her Uber. Her body was found in a wooded area a day later.
A bill introduced in the General Assembly Tuesday would require ride-sharing services to have better marking on their vehicles, including illuminated signs. The South Carolina House passed a similar bill after Josephson's killing.
Mecklenburg County Rep. Mary Belk admitted that she recently jumped into a car after requesting an Uber and didn't think twice. She said cars with Uber and Lyft stickers "are lined up outside Charlotte bars" on most nights, ready to drive off with people who don't take the time to make sure they're in the right vehicle.
Josephson's parents started a website with #WHATSMYNAME that asks people to do four things that spell out the acronym SAMI.
Stop: Plan ahead.
Ask: Ask your driver, "what's my name?"
Match: Make the vehicle to the one displayed on the app
Inform: Share the details of your trip with a friend
The website follows the university president's call for action.
"Making sure by taking a pledge that you will never get into the backseat of a vehicle without asking what's my name," said university president Harris Pastides. "It's got to become your natural movement."
According to NFC affiliate WRAL, an Uber lobbyist pushed back against the legislation, saying signs could provide a false sense of security because anyone could purchase them online.
"We're concerned that people aren't relying on the app for [driver] verification," lobbyist Nick Juliano said. "We don't believe that it's a silver bullet that's going to enhance safety."
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