Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation during a June 20 ceremony in Robbinsville to enhance safety for rideshare passengers by requiring additional identification for drivers. The bill’s passage and signing follows the tragic death of Samantha “Sami” Josephson, a Robbinsville resident and student at the University of South Carolina, who mistakenly entered a car she thought was her rideshare.
“This is a bittersweet day for the Josephsons. We want to thank the Assembly and Senate for unanimously passing Sami’s Law,” the Josephson family said in a statement. “We appreciate Governor Murphy accommodating us by signing the bill in Robbinsville, Samantha’s hometown. We are proud that New Jersey has taken the lead in making rideshare safer for everyone. We also want to thank our family, friends, and community for supporting us through this tough time.”
The law requires rideshare companies to issue additional identification materials to drivers to help passengers correctly identify their vehicle. First, rideshare companies must issue two identifying markers to each driver to be displayed on the front windshield and rear window. Second, rideshare companies must create and provide every driver with two copies of a two-dimensional barcode or other machine-readable code that passengers can scan to confirm the identity of the vehicle. Third, rideshare companies shall produce and issue two credential placards to be displayed on the driver and passenger side rear windows that include the driver’s name, photo, and license plate number. Drivers who fail to comply with these provisions are subject to a fine of $250, and rideshare companies that fail to comply with these provisions can have their permit to operate in New Jersey suspended or revoked.
The new requirements take effect nine months following the date of enactment, which would be March 2020.
A similar piece of legislation, also named “Sami’s Law,” was recently introduced at the federal level cosponsored by Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker in the U.S. Senate, and led by Representative Chris Smith in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Sponsors of the state legislation include Sen. Linda Greenstein, and Assemblymen Daniel Benson and Wayne DeAngelo.