Following the murder of a lady in New Jersey, lawmakers in Washington D.C. passed a bill that would mandate an in-depth examination of the ridesharing sector before they left for the holidays.
Late Thursday night, before Congress went for the holidays, a last-minute push led to the passage of Sami’s Law by a voice vote in the Senate. Just before finalising action on the $1.7 trillion budget measure funding the federal government through September 30, 2023, the U.S. House also passed the legislation without debate.
Samantha Josephson of Robbinsville is being honoured in this law. University of South Carolina senior Josephson, 21, was slain in 2019 after she got into a car she thought was her Uber. Nathaniel Rowland, the driver, was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2021.
It was always about making Uber and Lyft and all of the other rideshares safer,” said the bill’s principal sponsor, Republican Representative for California’s 4th Congressional District Chris Smith. You can bet your house that these horrible predators target young women. Taking precautions is key.
When the bill was finally passed as part of a Democratic procedural motion, Smith and every other House Republican voted against it.
The Josephsons visited Capitol Hill multiple times to lobby for this bill’s passage. Over the course of several attempts to win over sceptics, Smith tempered the original plan on several occasions.
Smith removed measures from his original plan that would have mandated digital verification systems linking passengers with drivers and established a 15-member advisory board to examine safety requirements before the bill won initial approval in the House less than 10 days ago.
The provision prohibiting the sale of Uber and Lyft signs by businesses not allowed to do so by the companies was also removed in order to ensure the bill’s final passage.
The only thing left was for the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’s watchdog, to investigate how often passengers and drivers of ride-sharing services are assaulted and abused, how thoroughly drivers are vetted, and whether or not existing laws mandate such checks, as well as the safety measures taken by ride-sharing services, taxis, and other for-hire vehicles.
In his current position, he no longer employs the phrase “disappointed,” he explained. So long as you do what you can, this will help.
Here’s What Uber Had to Say in A Press Release:
Safety is an ongoing priority for us, so we look forward to continuing to collaborate with regulators and industry experts to find effective ways to make ridesharing safer for everyone.
Every trip is GPS tracked, drivers must pass a background check, and riders are given the make, model, licence plate, and driver name to verify their trip before getting into the vehicle; on top of this, we continuously invest in new technology and partner with leading safety organisations, such as our in-app emergency button and 24/7 live support from ADT Safety Agents.
As for Lyft, the company has previously stated that it, too, has taken measures to boost security. Requests for comment sent to the corporation on Friday went unanswered.
According to OpenSecrets, the two ridesharing businesses spent $2.7 million lobbying the federal government in the first nine months of 2022.
Between 2017 and 2020, Uber drivers were accused of sexually assaulting 9,805 passengers, according to Uber’s own statistics, and 39 passengers were died in or shortly after an Uber ride. I quote Smith: He stated that between 2017 and 2019, Lyft received 4,158 reports of sexual assault.
Smith remarked that the GAO review in and of itself will be noteworthy, and he added that he and the Josephsons intended to meet with the agency prior to the start of its work.
The study’s findings, “especially for women,” will “wake up America,” Smith said. When a problem isn’t documented, it can’t be solved.
In 2019, the state of New Jersey passed a law honouring Sami Josephson, which mandated the use of digital barcodes and LED signs on ride-sharing vehicles.