Angela Lang / CNET

The US House of Representatives unanimously passed a law called "Sami's Law" on Wednesday, aimed at increasing the security of hail services.

The law was passed according to Samantha Josephson, a Student killed by a fake Uber driver near Columbus, South Carolina. Sami's law, which is now going to the Senate to vote, would oblige companies like Uber and Lyft to strengthen their ride-matching technology so that rides can only begin when the driver and driver identify each other.

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Sami's law was drafted by US representative Chris Smith, a Republican congressman for New Jersey from whom Josephson came.

"It's bittersweet," said Josephson's parents, Marci and Seymour, in a statement. "We'd rather have Samantha sitting here on the couch with us, but making a law so no one gets hurt is a good thing."

The hail campaign has been plagued by security problems for years. Hundreds of passengers and drivers have reported sexual assault while driving, and several lawsuits against Uber and Lyft have been filed by people who said they were raped, kidnapped, or fondled by the drivers of the service. Both companies also had several problems with people posing as drivers and picking up unsuspecting drivers.

Josephson unwittingly got into the wrong Uber car late Friday evening in March 2019. Fourteen hours later, the 21-year-old was found dead in a forest area about 90 miles away. The police later found that the child safety locks in the car were activated, which probably prevented them from escaping.

In addition to improving the safety of hail technology, Sami & # 39; s Law would set up a 15-member advisory board to report to the transportation minister to advance industry safety standards. It would also be illegal to sell signage or stickers. In addition, the US Government Accountability Office would have to report reports of assault and ill-treatment while driving and review the effectiveness of corporate background checks on drivers.

"Sami's parents … have begun to push for comprehensive new Uber and Lyft protection policies and laws to ensure, as far as possible, that no one else will ever lose his or her life or be attacked by a ridesharing or predator that does so pretends one, "Smith said in a statement. "They were a crucial part of the often intensive negotiations with several interest groups, including Uber and Lyft."

Both Uber and Lyft have teamed up with the Josephsons and their foundation #WhatsMyName. The foundation focuses on raising awareness of passenger safety and encouraging companies and legislators to develop guidelines that make driving safer. Part of the goal is to get people to ask what my name is before getting in a car.

"& # 39; Sami & # 39; s Law & # 39; is another step in ongoing work to improve ridesharing safety through the use of education and technology," said Danielle Burr, Ubers' chief of federal affairs, in a statement.

Burr added that Uber remains committed to contributing to the safety of passengers and drivers. Dan Katz, senior director of public policy at Lyft, said Lyft will also prioritize security on its platform.


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