Walmart joins NJ law enforcement for massive safety campaign
🚗 NJ State PBA and Walmart have teamed up to support #WHATSMYNAME
🚗 Educational signs will appear in bars, restaurants and other rideshare places
🚗 The idea is to bring awareness and education to those who use Uber or Lyft
In March 2019, tragedy struck when Robbinsville resident Samantha Josephson was kidnapped near the University of South Carolina by a man impersonating an Uber driver, and then murdered.
The 21-year-old woman’s family created the #WHATSMYNAME Foundation to provide education on essential ride service safety. A key focus behind the foundation is reminding rideshare passengers to always confirm that their driver is legitimate by simply asking, “What’s my name?” before entering the vehicle.
As an added safety feature now, there are QR codes on an Uber vehicle’s windshield. Passengers can take a picture of the QR code on their smartphone. It will bring up the driver’s photo, the make and model of the car, and the license plate.
The New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association is collaborating with Walmart to kick off a statewide education effort in support of the foundation’s mission.
Walmart reached out to the NJ PBA looking to provide funding so large quantities of educational signage, said Pat Colligan, president of the New Jersey State PBA.
“These signs aren’t cheap. It’s not something we could’ve been doing on our own. We’re hoping to save lives with this program,” Colligan said.
Last year, about 9,000 sexual assaults were reported by Uber and Lyft in a self-report. These are the ones that were reported. Imagine the ones that weren’t Colligan said. The idea is to prevent tragedies like Samantha’s from happening to anyone ever again.
The signs have rideshare tips using the acronym SAMI (Samantha’s nickname). The acronym stands for Stop. Ask. Match. Inform.
Stop: Review the safety features of the car.
Ask: Ask the driver “What’s my Name?” before getting into the vehicle.
Match: Match the license plate to your smartphone.
Inform: Share the details with someone who knows you’re out and about.
The signs will distributed and posted by PBA members at bars, restaurants, casinos, and other places where rideshare services are frequently used, Colligan said.
Within a month or so, these signs will be pretty much everywhere throughout the state, he said.
If you would like a sign for your business, whether it’s a bar, restaurant, or other popular rideshare location, Colligan said they are available at the NJ State PBA, located at 158 Main Street, Woodbridge.
Without Walmart’s tremendous generosity to be able to purchase these signs, the NJ State PBA would have only been able to take on this project on a small scale, Colligan said.
“We literally have the funds to get these signs printed and out in probably just about every rideshare location in the state. We are proud to partner with Walmart. We are proud now to know the family. It’s horrible to hear about the tragedy but he (Seymour Josephson, Samantha’s father) has really done great things in her name and I’m sure lives will be saved,” Colligan said.
With the funding provided by Walmart, Colligan added there will be roughly 1,500 to 2,000 signs to start but he expects many more to be printed up and available.
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Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5