House and Senate bill Sami's Law, will enforce rules to better protect riders

Updated: Jan 11

Sami's Law a bill to provide better safety for rideshare passengers. Currently, already in affect in New Jersey, the bill was introduced to the house in June by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ4. The Senate version was introduced the same day by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)

The U.S. House of Representatives invited both Uber and Lyft in October to talk before them on their thoughts of this and drivers wages. However, both companies were no shows.

So what is Sami's Law?

The bill was named after Samantha "Sami" Josephson who was abducted and murdered, after entering a vehicle she mistakenly thought was her Uber.

So what does the bill detail For drivers?

The federal version of this bill requires the same identifying markers and bar codes on rideshare vehicles as the law in New Jersey does. Currently, rideshare companies are not regulated by the federal government. So, this bill would penalize any state that fails to comply by withholding 1% of their federal highway funding.

Under the bill drivers would be required to display a sign in the front window and back window at all times while driving for the companies. The signs will display the companies logo/trademark along with qr code riders are too scan. Which a rider must scan before the ride can start. If a driver should stop driving for a company or be deactivated they will have to return the sign to the company.

The bill will also make it against the law for drivers to sale their signs. Along with make it against the law for third parties to sale Uber and Lyft signs on Amazon or eBay like they currently do right now.

GAO study on the incidence of assault and abuse of ride-hailing riders and drivers.

With this the Comptroller General of the United States will conduct a study on the incidence of assault and abuse on drivers by riders using ride-hailing vehicles, and on riders by drivers of ride-hailing vehicles and will submit a report to Congress no later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act, the report will also examine.

  1. The nature and specifics of any background checks conducted by ride-hailing companies on potential drivers.

  2. Incidences where individuals who are not ride-hailing drivers try to pose as ride-hailing drivers.

  3. Incidences of ride-hailing passengers entering the wrong vehicle, whether or not the vehicle was a ride-hailing vehicle

  4. Efforts by ride-hailing companies to implement additional safety measures and pratices and of State and local governments requiring such measures, and the efficacy of those efforts, practices, and requirements.

On July, 29th 2020 The US House of Representatives unanimously passed the bill. It will now head to the Senate to be voted on. Congress is also writing a bill that would deal with pay for drivers.

View bill here