After N.J. woman’s murder, state tightens rules on rideshare drivers

A Lyft logo is installed on a Lyft driver's car next to an Uber sticker

In this Jan. 31, 2018, file photo, a Lyft logo is installed on a Lyft driver's car next to an Uber sticker. (Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo, file)

Rideshare drivers in New Jersey will have to display more identifiers on their vehicles under a new state law named for a woman who was recently killed.

Robbinsville native Samantha Josephson was murdered after mistakenly getting into a car she thought was her Uber in South Carolina. Her alleged killer was later arrested by police.

A new law named in her honor aims to prevent such crimes from occurring in Josephson’s home state.

Sami’s Law will require drivers for Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies operating in New Jersey to post reflective or illuminated signs inside their windshield and rear window. Drivers will also have to display a scannable barcode that riders can use to verify their identity.

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“Sami’s Law is something that’s going to hopefully lead in the rest of the country as well, so that we can ensure that every person getting into a rideshare knows that it’s their vehicle and it’s going to be a safe ride,” said Assemblyman Daniel Benson, D-Mercer, one of the bill’s sponsors.

At a bill signing Thursday morning, Gov. Phil Murphy praised the Josephson family and said he hoped the law would help prevent similar tragedies in the future.

“We cannot begin to imagine the terrible grief the Josephson family has carried. And I’m well aware that this could have happened to any member of our community, to any New Jersey family, including our own,” Murphy said.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-04, has introduced similar legislation at the federal level.

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