Raleigh, NC A new law in North Carolina, which was originally introduced by House Majority Leader John Bell as the Passenger Protection Act (HB 391), begins to take effect today to improve ridesharing safety in the wake of the tragic murder of University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson by someone impersonating her Uber driver.
Rideshare drivers in North Carolina will now be required to display a printed license plate number on the front of their vehicle to help people properly identify their Uber or Lyft. The vehicle's license plate number displayed must be printed in a legible font no smaller than three inches in height. Starting July 1, 2020, rideshare drivers will also be required to have illuminated signage in their vehicles.
"Today marks a huge improvement in the safety of ridesharing in North Carolina," said Rep. John Bell. "These new safeguards will help keep our citizens safe and hopefully serve as a national model for other states. I am proud to have helped lead this bipartisan effort to make ridesharing safer in North Carolina."
While these new safety measures make it easier for riders to correctly identify their vehicle, it is still up to individuals to remain vigilant by checking the license plate number of their rides, asking the driver to say their name, and if they feel unsafe in a situation to contact local law enforcement.
Key provisions of the new law:
- Starting October 1, 2019, rideshare drivers must display a printed license plate number on the front of their vehicle.
- Starting July 1, 2020, rideshare drivers must have illuminated signage in their vehicles.
- Creates a new criminal penalty for impersonating a rideshare driver.
- Makes it a misdemeanor to assault a rideshare driver.
- Contact: Jimmy Milstead