RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — In response to the the murder of a college student who police say mistook her killer’s car for her Uber ride, the North Carolina House of Representatives unanimously passed the Passenger Protection Act.
“As elected officials, our number one priority is public safety,” said House Majority Leader John Bell. “This legislation puts forth common sense solutions to address the growing problem of Uber and Lyft impersonators who have been taking advantage of these services to prey upon some of our most vulnerable citizens.”
The Passenger Protection Act will include the following measures for rideshare users and drivers:
- Rideshare drivers must display a printed license plate number on the front of their vehicle.
- Starting July 1, 2020, rideshare drivers must have illuminated signage in their vehicles.
- Creates a new criminal penalty for impersonating a rideshare driver.
- Makes it a misdemeanor to assault a rideshare driver .
- Sets up a study commission to examine ways to improve the safety of ridesharing.
- Provides $500,000 in grants for community colleges and universities to educate students on rideshare safety.
The act comes after police said University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson, 21, got into what she mistakenly thought was her Uber ride.
The fake driver had the back seat child safety locks on so Josephson could not escape, killing her and dumping her body in the woods 65 miles away.
A 24-year-old suspect, Nathaniel David Rowland, has been charged with kidnapping and murder in the case.
The Passenger Protection Act will now go to the NC Senate.