Legislation named in honor of Samantha “Sami” Josephson, a Robbinsville, NJ woman who was kidnapped and brutally murdered by a fake Uber driver in South Carolina last year, unanimously passed the House of Representatives this afternoon.
Sami was a senior at the University of South Carolina and had been accepted at Drexel Law School at the time of her murder.
Congressman Chris Smith, the bill’s prime sponsor, said that among its provisions, Sami’s Law will “require ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft to deploy a verifiable electronic access system to match drivers with passengers before the ride begins to enhance safety for the ride-hailing public.
“Notwithstanding their excruciating agony over the loss of their precious daughter, Sami’s parents—Seymour and Marci—began pushing for comprehensive new protection policies at Uber and Lyft and legislation to ensure to the maximum extent possible that no one else ever loses her or his life or gets assaulted by a rideshare driver or a predator who pretends to be one,” Smith said. “For over a year—especially given the pain due to the unimaginable loss of their daughter—Seymour and Marci have been heroic, tenacious and extraordinarily persuasive. They have been a critically important part of the often-intense negotiations with multiple stakeholders including Uber and Lyft.”
“I am especially grateful to the Speaker for her strong personal commitment to this cause and for bringing Sami’s Law to the floor today and who—like leader Kevin McCarthy and others—welcomed Marci and Seymour with deep respect, kindness and total empathy for their loss,” Smith said.
“Both Marci and I and Sydney are extremely happy and proud to work with Chris Smith, Speak Pelosi and Leader McCarthy, Chairman DeFazio, Graves and Suozzi,” said Seymour Josephson, speaking for his wife and other daughter, Sydney. “We really appreciate the teamwork, having Chris Smith leading the charge and bringing in Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy and Rep. DeFazio, Ranking Member Graves and others. It’s been a whirlwind of ups and downs. It’s bittersweet. It’s been emotional. We’d much rather have Samantha sitting with us here on the couch, but to create a law so nobody else gets hurt is a good thing. It’s a huge step to get it through the House. Now we need to get the Senate to act on it hopefully soon.”
Both Uber and Lyft support the legislation.
Said Danielle Burr, Head of Uber Federal Affairs: “The tragic death of Samantha Josephson left the rideshare community heartbroken and devastated. Today’s passage of ‘Sami’s Law’ is another step in the ongoing work to help improve safety on rideshare by leveraging education and technology. We’re grateful for the leadership of Congressman Chris Smith, the support and collaboration of the Josephson Family and the commitment of congressional leadership on both sides of the aisle to pass ‘Sami’s Law.’ At Uber, our work on safety is never done and we remain committed to continue doing our part to help keep riders and drivers safe while using the platform.”
Dan Katz, Senior Director, Public Policy, Lyft: “The Josephson family and Congressman Smith have worked tirelessly to champion Sami’s Law. Their determination has led to today’s passage in the US House of Representatives. We have and will continue to prioritize safety within the Lyft community.”2020-07-29__rep_chris_smith_floor_remarks_on_passage_of_sami_s_law_hr_4686