CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - North Carolina lawmakers have proposed a bill that will require Uber and Lyft drivers to display a sign that will make it easier for passengers to identify them.
The Passenger Protection Act will require drivers to display a consistent and visible sign in their car. When a driver no longer works for the company, they must return the sign within 10 days.
If the driver does not comply, the ridesharing company must report the person’s name and last known address to the state.
The Passenger Protection Act, which is similar to a bill that recently passed in the South Carolina House, was introduced after the killing of University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson.
Columbia Police say Josephson’s body was found in a wooded area after she was previously seen waiting for an Uber and got in the wrong car, according to WIS. Police say they later discovered the child safety locks were on inside of the backseat, so no passengers could exit, WIS reported.
“While the horrific murder of Samantha Josephson brought this issue to the forefront of the news, the dangerous problem of ride-sharing impersonators has been going on for years across the country, especially around college campuses,” said Senator John Bell. “There is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed and we believe this bill is the least intrusive and reasonable way to help passengers properly identify their vehicles. While we know it is not a fix-all, it is a step in the right direction and the start of a much-needed conversation about improving ride-sharing safety in North Carolina.”
Ridesharing companies must also provide passengers with the following information after a ride request is accepted by the driver.
- Photograph of the driver
- License plate number of the driver’s vehicle
- Description of the vehicle
- Approximate location of the driver’s vehicle displayed on a map
Ridesharing companies must retain record of each ride provided in the state for one year from the date the ride happened. A record must also be kept for one year from the driver’s termination with the company.
Lawmakers say although this does not completely solve the issue of Uber and Lyft impersonators, it will improve the safety of ride-sharing.