By Mollie Simon – USA Today Network – 

A bipartisan group of legislators has introduced a bill in both the U.S. House and Senate to honor Samantha Josephson, a University of South Carolina student who was murdered in March. 

Josephson was killed after getting into a vehicle she thought was her Uber, investigators have said. 

Nathaniel Rowland has been charged with murder and kidnapping in the case.

If enacted, the bill proposed on Friday would require front license plates and illuminated windshield signs for ride-share vehicles in addition to scannable QR codes, or quick-response codes, on the sides of vehicles. 

The bill, titled “Sami’s Law,” would penalize states that do not comply by removing 1% of their federal highway funding.

A photo of Samantha Josephson provided to the public by Columbia police during the search for the missing USC student.




























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































A photo of Samantha Josephson provided to the public by Columbia police during the search for the missing USC student. (Photo: PROVIDED/Columbia Police Department)

Josephson’s parents met with lawmakers in May to advocate for policies protecting ride-share passengers. 

“They have already made an enormous impact at home, as New Jersey has passed legislation that mirrors the federal version of Sami’s Law,” New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith said in a prepared statement. “But Sami’s murder underscores that we need federal legislation so that ride-share customers are equally protected in all 50 states.”

Josephson’s parents met with lawmakers in May to advocate for policies protecting ride-share passengers. 

“They have already made an enormous impact at home, as New Jersey has passed legislation that mirrors the federal version of Sami’s Law,” New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith said in a prepared statement. “But Sami’s murder underscores that we need federal legislation so that ride-share customers are equally protected in all 50 states.”

Smith represents the Josephsons’ home district.

Family and friends gathered Tuesday evening in Robbinsville, NJ to mourn the death of Samantha Josephson who was killed when she got into the wrong car, thinking it was her Uber ride. Peter Ackerman, Asbury Park PressNew York Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi is co-sponsoring the bill in the House, and Sens. Ben Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland, Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, and Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, are jointly sponsoring it in the Senate.

Legislation was passed by the South Carolina General Assembly and signed into law on June 5 specifying that ride-share vehicles must display their license plate numbers on the front. South Carolina’s Samantha L. Josephson Ridesharing Safety Act originally included requirements for illuminated signs, but that was removed prior to passage.


***This story was originally published online on June 14, 2019 and can be seen online.
https://www.app.com/story/news/crime/2019/06/14/university-south-carolina-usc-student-samantha-josephson-ride-share-law-proposed-federal-legislators/1459990001/