JERSEY CITY, N.J. (WCBS 880) — Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop has announced an ordinance that would require all rideshare vehicles, such as Uber and Lyft, to make themselves more identifiable by displaying illuminated signs.
This comes in response to the murder of University of South Carolina senior Samantha Josephson. The 21-year-old New Jersey native was killed after getting into a car, thinking it was her Uber ride.
“These unfortunate tragedies bring to light the work that can be done on an administrative level to help keep people safe,” said Fulop.
The new ordinance would require all rideshare vehicles to have the signs illuminated and clearly displayed on the dashboard or windshield. Under the proposed ordinance, the signage must be visible during the day from 50 feet away and completely visible in darkness.
"It helps law enforcement and it helps passengers so it's kind of a win, win," Fulop told WCBS 880. “I encourage all rideshare users to verify the driver they requested by looking for these signs, and to ensure extra precaution, ask the driver to identify themselves using a name or a pin number."
He calls the proposed ordinance common sense.
"If you call a yellow cab, they clearly are a yellow cab. This will make it easier and clearer for passengers and law enforcement," Fulop said.
Jersey City would be the first city in the state to require the signs.
“Until now, rideshare regulations have come from the state. We’re taking charge of this issue locally, instead of waiting for others to act,” said Mayor Fulop. “The idea is that the signs will be provided by the companies, and returned when the driver stops working for them.”
Similar legislation has been introduced in South Carolina.
Fulop says he hopes this adds an extra layer of protection to make people safer.
The ordinance will be introduced at a City Council meeting next week.
Uber has yet to comment on the proposed legislation, but many customers said the proposal is smart.
One Jersey City resident notes: “I think safety is paramount.”