Bell's Rideshare Safety Bill Gets Final OK, Heads to Governor

By Kasey Cunningham

A bill is headed to Governor Roy Cooper's desk that aims to keep you safe the next time you request an Uber or Lyft.

The idea started with NC State University student Natalie Truby, who wanted to help protect other college students.

"I was honestly just shocked and in disbelief when I found out that she was murdered by someone who was impersonating an Uber driver," she said Wednesday. "It was awesome that a normal person like me can reach out to a normal person like Representative Bell, he's a normal guy. It was just like talking to a dad or a friend."

Ride share safety is a big priority for Rep. John Bell, who is sponsor of the Passenger Protection Act passed in the General Assembly. The bill was prompted by the tragic death of Samantha Josephson in South Carolina. Authorities said she was getting in a car she thought was her Uber.

The driver of that car killed her.

"There's a big problem across our country with people using this platform to actually target victims," Bell said. "It could happen to anyone."

This resonated so many, including an NC State student who reached out to lawmakers with an idea for a bill.

"She made a good case so we got to work," Bell said.

The bill also requires license plates to be displayed up front visibly. It includes harsher penalties for passengers who assault drivers. Everyone we spoke with is on board with the bill.

"No one should get in a car with a driver they don't know so if you're going to offer that service we need to make sure that there's protection out there for people," said one student at NC State.

The bill is slated to head to the governor's desk for signature.