ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. - Legislation stemming from the death of a New Jersey woman and University of South Carolina student police say got into the car of an Uber impersonator passed the U.S. House on Wednesday.
The bipartisan bill requires ride-sharing firms like Uber and Lyft to match drivers and passengers and is named after Samantha “Sami” Josephson, a college senior about to graduate and enroll in law school, when she was found dead in March 2019.
Police say Josephson got into the car of an Uber driver impersonator in Columbia, South Carolina. She was killed and her body dumped in the woods 65 miles (105 kilometers) away.
The legislation passed by a voice vote in the Democrat-led House, meaning there was no recorded opposition. It goes next to the Republican-controlled Senate.
Seymour Josephson, Sami’s father, said in an interview on Wednesday that the bill’s passage was bittersweet.
“As you can imagine, I would rather have Samantha sitting next to me rather than sitting watching the voting going on,” he said. “It’s nice to finally have the fruits of your labor — that we’ve done for the last 15 months — (pay off.)”
Similar legislation was signed into law in New Jersey last year by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy.
Republican Rep. Chris Smith, who represents Sami’s hometown, was the sponsor of the legislation. He credited her parents with pushing the legislation.
“For over a year — especially given the pain due to the unimaginable loss of their daughter—Seymour and Marci have been heroic, tenacious and extraordinarily persuasive,” Smith said.
Uber and Lyft praised the legislation in statements.
The measure mandates ride-sharing firms deploy an electronic system to match drivers with passengers before the ride begins, according to the bill’s sponsors.
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