Uber, Lyft drivers would need light-up signs under Jersey City rule
Jersey City this week is considering the state's first municipal measure to require any ride-hailing vehicles to display an illuminated sign. The item was on the agenda for Wednesday's City Council meeting.
Mayor Steven Fulop announced the proposal last week following the recent slaying of New Jersey native Samantha Josephson in South Carolina. Josephson was killed last month after mistaking a stranger's car for an Uber ride she requested, police said.
On Twitter on Monday, Fulop said of the proposal: "This is helpful for passengers but it is also helpful for the city. The reality is we have NO idea how many ride shares are on our streets, what they do to traffic etc. The only info a city has is by “trusting” that Uber/Lyft are providing accurate info."
Fulop also countered questions raised by both major ride-sharing companies, Uber and Lyft. He said: "Generally speaking, when companies push back on transparency and only want to self report selective information - it raises even more questions."
Since April 3, Uber has pinned a safety tweet to its Twitter account, urging “Every time you take an Uber trip, make sure you’re getting into the right car with the right driver by opening your app and completing 3 safety pick-up steps: Match the license plate number, Match the car make and model, Check the driver’s photo."
New Jersey state law requires drivers to have a small "Identifying Marker" (also called a "trade dress") attached to or visible on their vehicle to show which company they are with.
Also this week, state lawmakers in South Carolina advanced a similar safety measure for ride-sharing vehicles. The South Carolina House approved the Samantha Josephson Ridesharing Safety Act, sending it to the South Carolina Senate, where it was introduced today. It would take effect 30 days after approval by South Carolina's governor.
On Wednesday, an Uber spokesman said that appreciates "efforts to strengthen safety, and our hearts remain with Samantha Josephson’s family and loved ones.
"We’re committed to working with legislators, as well as universities, to keep students safe and want to ensure riders take the most effective steps to stay safe. We have some safety concerns about the legislation as currently written, and hope to work collectively with the legislators to put safety first.”
The University of South Carolina also announced they will award Josephson a posthumous degree. The slain undergrad was set to receive her diploma before starting law school at Drexel University.
More from New Jersey 101.5: