The parents of Samantha Josephson – the 21-year-old New Jersey college student killed after getting into a car she thought was her Uber – appeared on Good Morning America Monday to make a national plea for changes to ride-share laws.
“It’s become a new phenomenon, using Uber. We trust people and you can’t,” Marci Josephson told GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos on the morning show. “You have to change the way that the laws are to make it safer. Laws have to change.”
Samantha Josephson, a 21-year-old from Robbinsville in Mercer County, was attending college in South Carolina when police say she mistakenly got into a stranger’s car early on March 29. Her body was found later that day, and 25-year-old Nathaniel David Rowland was later charged with stabbing her to death.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have signed a petition to ask Uber and Lyft for increased security, and South Carolina lawmakers have proposed requiring ride-share drivers to have illuminated signs.
Seymour Josephson said 19 states do not require drivers to install a front license plate. He doesn’t think a front plate should be mandatory for all vehicles – unless it’s a ride-share.
South Carolina is one of the states where currently a front license plate is not required, he said.
“So (when) the car’s pulling up, you can’t see the front license plate,” Seymour Josephson said. “I think if you’re going to be in the ride-sharing industry then you should have a front license plate.”
Samantha’s parents also say ride-share drivers should have barcodes on their windows.
“You put your phone up to it, it turns green – that’s my ride,” Seymour Josephson said. “If it’s not your ride, it turns red. The technology is already out there.”
Listen to NJ.com on Alexa, on Google Home, or via a daily podcast
Here's another way to find out what's happening in your state: Listen to a daily news update on Alexa or via a podcast on your Apple device.
The Josephsons said they have heard from people across the country who have said Samantha’s killing hit close to home.
“So many people have told us it could have been our daughter, our son,” Marci Josephson said. “We automatically assume we’re safe (and) we all put our loved ones in an Uber or Lyft.”
“We grow up teaching our kids not to get into cars with strangers and what do we do?” Seymour Josephson said. “You get in cars with strangers.”
Seymour Josephson said he and his wife are working with lawmakers in New Jersey to come up with legislation – “something bipartisan” – to make ride-sharing safer.
Early in the interview, the Josephsons described their daughter as hard-working, determined and a good friend.
“We just want you to know that she was a fabulous young woman,” Marci Josephson said.
The couple said the University of South Carolina will present their daughter with a degree at its graduation ceremony in May. The Josephsons said they will be there.
“It will be the hardest thing for us to go but we need to go,” Marci Josephson said. “She wanted us there.”
Marci and I will be on Good Morning America Monday April 15th between 7:25-7:35. We will be discussing the safety...Posted by Seymour Josephson on Sunday, April 14, 2019
Get the latest updates right in your inbox. > Subscribe to NJ.com’s newsletters
> Subscribe to NJ.com’s newsletters