COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — On March twenty ninth, 2019, Samantha Josephson summoned an Uber after an evening out within the 5 Factors district of Columbia.
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In accordance with the Columbia Police Division, Josephson, 21, acquired right into a car she believed was her journey. Police stated it was the improper automobile.
Officers stated the driving force of that car, Nathaniel Rowland, kidnapped and murdered Josephson. Her physique was present in rural Clarendon County the subsequent day. Rowland’s trial started this week.
The tragedy shocked the Columbia neighborhood, state and nation. Her household, the College of South Carolina, state lawmakers and others haven taken steps to ensure one thing like this might by no means occur once more.
Just some weeks after her demise in 2019, state lawmakers handed the Samantha L. Josephson Ridesharing Safety Act. The legislation requires drivers within the state to show their license plate quantity on the entrance of their car whereas selecting up passengers
Consultant Seth Rose (D-District 72) filed the laws following Josephson’s demise. He stated, “This tragedy did deliver a number of consciousness to the risks of ridesharing driving itself.”
The act additionally made it a criminal offense to impersonate a rideshare driver in South Carolina. In accordance with the legislation, anybody who misrepresents themselves as a driver is responsible of a misdemeanor. They might be fined as much as $500 and find yourself in jail for as much as 30 days.
In the event that they commit one other crime whereas impersonating a rideshare driver, they might be fined as much as $1,000 and withstand two years in jail.
Rose stated, “This horrific incident and the quantity of publicity it acquired did essentially the most good by reminding folks to watch out earlier than getting right into a car. Ensure you verify the license plate and have the driving force say your identify.”
Within the aftermath of Josephson’s demise, ridesharing corporations created new security measures to guard drivers and passengers. Uber partnered with the College of South Carolina for a campus security initiative. They aimed to construct public consciousness, assist college students discover ways to keep away from pretend rideshare drivers, and help campus rides packages at main faculties throughout the nation.
The Columbia space additionally piloted new security options forward of a nationwide launch.
Within the 5 Factors district, the place Josephson was kidnapped, a brand new designated space for rideshare decide ups was established.
Josephson’s dad and mom created the ‘What’s My Name’ Foundation to honor their daughter. The muse works to coach others on journey share security, helps charitable organizations and set up scholarships for highschool seniors.
The Josephson’s have additionally voiced help for federal laws that might require all rideshare drivers throughout the nation to obviously establish themselves to passengers. Sami’s Law passed the US Home in 2020. It wasn’t taken up by the Senate final yr and didn’t turn out to be legislation.
The laws was re-introduced in 2021.
By means of the month of August, the South Carolina Workplace of Regulatory Employees (ORS) is present process their annual audit of rideshare driver recordsdata.
In accordance with officers, ORS investigates driver data and client complaints to substantiate that drivers with the businesses meet the necessities of state legal guidelines. Officers stated that is carried out to maintain passengers protected.
There are three rideshare corporations accredited to function in South Carolina: Lyft, Uber and Uzurv.