After Young Woman Killed, NJ City Looks to Make Ride-sharing Safer
Jersey City could become the first New Jersey community to require ride-sharing vehicles to clearly identify themselves with illuminated signs on their dashboards or windshield, and at least one Assemblyman is looking at similar legislation.
A proposed ordinance comes a week after the body of Robbinsville resident Samantha Josephson was found in rural South Carolina after she got into a car police say she thought was her Uber ride.
Her father, Seymour Josephson, said at a candlelight vigil for his daughter at the University of South Carolina he is making it part of his "life mission" to make ride-sharing safer.
"Part of my mission in life now is going around, talking. Because I can. Educating, getting that out. And hopefully putting pressure on Uber and Lyft." Seymour Josephson said. "What we have learned is that you cannot, men or women, you guys have to travel together."
Fulop said he is modeling his ordinance after a law named after Samantha Josephson being proposed by South Carolina representative Seth Rose.
"South Carolina's taken the pro-active steps to start to regulate some of these Uber and Lyft ride share services to make sure the cars are clearly marked. New York City mentioned they may be moving forward that way as well. It kind of makes sense, we're going to do it in Jersey City," Fulop told the Townsquare News Network.
The ordinance would need to be approved by the city council; it gets a first reading at Wednesday's meeting.
Fulop said that riders also have to take "common sense" to ask their drivers if they know their names, and hopes the ordinance can lay the framework to improve rider safety -- but admits there is no entirely safe system.
Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo, whose district represents Robbinsville, also looked to Rose for inspiration for legislation in New Jersey. Working with fellow Assemblyman Dan Benson, the Democrat hopes to include the Josephson family in public hearings as well as the ridesharing companies about safety.
He favors Rose's plan but wants to make sure nothing is overlooked or forgotten in the discussion to make New Jersey's potential law better.
DeAngelo said he has a daughter who is 21, the same age as Samantha Josephson.
"Our community is devastated and our hearts go out to the Josephson family. We have to work to take precautions to ensure an incident this doesn't happen again and no other family has to go through this again," DeAngelo said.
DeAngelo said he is working with the speaker's office to schedule a hearing during a break in budget talks in April.