The parents of Samantha Josephson are urging ride-sharing companies to keep their customers safer in wake of their daughter’s murder.
The University of South Carolina student was killed last month after ordering an Uber and getting into the wrong vehicle in Columbia. Nathaniel Rowland, 21, has been charged with her murder.
“We grow up teaching our kids not to get into cars with strangers,” Samantha’s father Seymour Josephson told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Monday. “And what do we do? We get into cars with strangers.”
Mom Marci Josephson added that using ride-sharing companies such as Uber has become “natural” and most customers assume they are safe.
“We trust people and you can’t,” she told ABC News. “You have to change the way that the laws are to make it safer because that’s our nature.”
South Carolina lawmakers are working on that. The state House has overwhelmingly passed the “Samantha L. Josephson Ridesharing Safety Act” that would require ride-sharing vehicles to have illuminated signs while they were on duty. The measure must also be passed in the state Senate.
Seymour Josephson praised the proposal as a “great start,” but said other measures should be taken. He suggested that ride-sharing vehicles should be required to have front license plates. It is not mandatory in South Carolina for license plates to be at the front of vehicles.
He also said companies should put bar codes on the side of their vehicles.
“You put your phone up to it and if turns green, that’s my ride,” he told ABC News. “If it’s not your ride, it turns red. The technology is already out there. It’s a very easy way to implement safety for the consumer as well as the driver.”
Samantha Josephson, who was 21, was just weeks away from graduation when she was murdered, and she was planning to go to law school at Drexel University. The University of South Carolina will award her a posthumous degree.