House Passes Gottheimer-Sponsored Bipartisan Sami’s Law — Enhances Safety for Rideshare Passengers — Requires Uber, Lyft to Adopt Digital Verification Systems

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Washington, July 29, 2020 | comments

Today, July 29, 2020, the House passed bipartisan legislation cosponsored by U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) — Sami’s Law — which will enhance safety for rideshare passengers by requiring services like Uber and Lyft to have drivers verify who they are before riders enter the vehicle. 

Under Sami’s Law, all rideshare services are required to adopt digital systems that allow passengers to verify the vehicle before they get into the car, it makes it illegal to sell ride-hiring signs without authorization, and it creates a U.S. Department of Transportation council to ensure safety measures stay current.

The bill also mandates state issued front license plates for ride-share vehicles and illuminated windshield signs visible in the day and at night from a distance of 50 feet. 

Sami’s Law has been named to honor Samantha Josephson — a senior at the University of South Carolina who was kidnapped and brutally murdered by a man pretending to be her Uber driver. 

“We must ensure residents in the Fifth District and all across the country are safe when using ridesharing services,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “I’m pleased that bipartisan legislation I cosponsored — Sami’s Law — has been passed by the House to address the gaps in ridesharing safety and to ensure that terrible tragedies that befell Samantha Josephson never happen again.”  

To address reports of sexual assault, the bill also requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study on the prevalence of assault and abuse perpetrated on riders by drivers of ride-hailing vehicles, and on drivers by ride-hailing passengers. The study will also assess the frequency and effectiveness of background checks conducted by ride-sharing companies on potential drivers and the state laws on background checks for drivers.

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