TRENTON, NJ -- The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) adopted regulations on Thursday to build upon the state's "Sami's Law" aimed at protecting customers of ride-sharing networks such as Uber or Lyft. "Sami's Law" is named after Robbinsville's Samantha Josephson who was brutally murdered while attending college in South Carolina in March 2019, allegedly by an individual she mistook as a driver for a ride-sharing service.
The state law requires ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft to provide every driver with a unique identifier, such as a two-dimensional barcode, to "make it easier and clearer for riders to confirm the identity" of ride-sharing drivers before customers enter the vehicle. A "credential placard" would be issued by a Transportation Network Company (TNC), commonly known as a ride-share company, to every driver. The placards would need to comply with uniform templates that will include the first name of the driver; a high resolution, color picture of the driver; the license plate number of each vehicle associated with the driver; the state that issued the license plate; and the name of the TNC issuing the credential placard.
"The approval of these regulations mark an important milestone in our efforts to strengthen the safety of ride-share services for passengers and drivers for years to come,” said Assemblyman Daniel Benson, who was a sponsor of Sami's Law. “We applaud the Josephson family’s commitment to Sami’s legacy in ensuring this tragedy will never happen again. New Jersey leads the nation with stricter regulations for these widely utilized services such as Uber and Lyft.”
A federal law, sponsored by Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-4), passed the House of Representatives in July to enact similar regulations nationwide.
In addition to advocating for legislation, the Josephson family founded the The What's My Name Foundation "to educate the world on ride share safety, supporting charitable organizations and providing college scholarships to selected high school seniors." The Foundation remind ride-share users to ask drivers “What’s my name?” before entering the vehicle to ensure that it is the proper vehicle.
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