WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A new rideshare protection law goes into effect Tuesday in North Carolina.
The Passenger Protection Act, introduced by House Majority Leader John Bell, is designed to help riders identify the correct car.
Rideshare safety has been on the minds of quite a few lately and has them thinking.
“A lot of times, you think twice before you get in an Uber alone, and a lot of times, you don’t have another option,” UNCW student Julia Singer said.
“It’s kind of terrifying because you never know who can do this type of thing,” UNCW student Ashleigh Barnes said.
With lawmakers taking rideshare safety here in North Carolina up a notch, it gives students like Singer some peace of mind.
“Especially being a girl getting in an Uber alone, it can be very scary at this time,” Singer said.
The Passenger Protect Act was introduced after University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson was murdered when she got into a car that she thought was her Uber.
Under the new law, rideshare drivers must have their license plate number displayed on the front of their car so riders clearly see it.
“Before a lot of these stories came out, that would just be the normal thing to do,” Singer said. “Just hop in and be like, ‘hey, are you here for Julia?'”
With the new law, Singer says she will definitely remember to check her driver’s license plate number.
Uber released a statement saying they have sent all their North Carolina drivers a front placard printed with their plate number.
For students, the new measure is a step in the right direction.
“Not saying that everybody’s untrustworthy, but nowadays, you kind of have to look out and be sure,” Barnes said.
“If it’s that accessible where it’s right there on the front, I think it’ll make everything a lot safer because it’ll be that much easier to make sure that I’m being safe,” Singer said.
Under the Passenger Protection Act, starting July 1, 2020, drivers must have an illuminated sign on their car.
The law also now makes a new criminal penalty for impersonating a rideshare driver. On the flip side, assaulting a rideshare driver is now a misdemeanor.