What is Sami's Law? Dad of slain student thrilled as US House passes rideshare impersonation law

What is Sami's Law? Dad of slain student thrilled as US House passes rideshare impersonation law
Seymour Josephson is fighting to avoid rideshare mishap after his daughter Samantha was stabbed over 100 times by Nathaniel Rowland in 2019 who she thought was her uber ride (Facebook/Seymour Josephson and Columbia Police Dept)

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA: A 21-year-old University of South Carolina student Samantha 'Sami' Josephson was murdered in 2019 after she mistook her murderer's car for her Uber. Since then, the deceased student's father Seymour has worked effortlessly to prevent another person to suffer the same ill-fated death as his daughter. Seymour has launched 'What's My Name Foundation' through which he helps create awareness of rideshare dangers and allows companies like Uber and Lyft to enhance their safety measures. 

On Thursday, January 5, President Joe Biden passed a new bill named after Samantha. 'Sami's Law' would require the federal government to begin studying rideshare safety and implement an effective verification system to allow users to identify their rides with ease. "It's a start," Seymour said of the legislation. "Hopefully there's more to come," reported The Sun.

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What is Sami's Law?

Sami's Law requires ride-share companies to use advanced safety measures and verification systems to identify the ride and its passenger. It also promotes the ban on the sale of materials designed to help a passenger identify a ride-sharing vehicle to those without the approval of the company, according to the source. The bill was spearheaded in 2021 by NJ Rep Christopher Smith and co-signed by South Carolina Reps Jim Clyburn and Joe Wilson.

Furthermore, the bill would require the Government Accountability Office to study, and submit a report every two years to Congress in regard to instances of assaults involving drivers and passengers. Subsequently, the Department of Transportation is also required to form a council to establish recommended standards with new verification technology for ride-share passengers and drivers. "Our work on safety is never done, and we look forward to continuing to work with policymakers and safety experts on solutions that help improve rideshare safety," an Uber spokesperson said.

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After Samantha's murder, the company established a new campus safety measure in 2019 which alerts users by sending notifications to remind them to ensure the license plate number, driver photo, and car model match the description in the app before transporting in the vehicle. It also uses an optional PIN authentication method to identify passengers and drivers in a secure way. Seymour wishes that this feature was universal and mandatory for all rideshare companies adding, "We don't want this to happen to anyone else."

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