NC bill seeks to improve rideshare safety

Majority leader John Bell (R-Wayne)

RALEIGH — North Carolina lawmakers on the House Transportation committee debated a bill that seeks to improve safety for passengers using rideshare services like Uber and Lyft.

House Bill 391 will give rideshare drivers one year to implement visible, illuminated trademarked signage on their vehicles. Since North Carolina does not have front-facing license plates, the bill would require drivers to clearly display their license plate on the front dashboard.

“We’ve talked with stakeholders from Uber, we’ve talked with stakeholders from Lyft and then we met at as a legislative working group and the bill you see today will be what we put together,” said House Majority Whip Rep. John Bell (R-Wayne).

The bill also includes penalties for impersonating a rideshare driver.

“It’s a two-fold approach. One, if someone is just posing as a rideshare driver to make money, they get charged with a misdemeanor,” said Bell. “But the intent is to actually go after the bad actors — the people that are using this as a way to target victims.”

The increased safety proposals come after South Carolina college student Samantha Josephson was murdered after getting into a car posing as an Uber.

North Carolina’s bill is like the approach South Carolina legislators responded with, which included requiring rideshare drivers to display their license tag numbers on a sign on the front of their vehicles so that riders can match it to the corresponding number on the ride app.

About A.P. Dillon 41 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_