WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (SC-6) delivered the following remarks on the House floor in support of H.R. 4686, Sami’s Law, legislation that would require transportation network companies to establish a system and policy for passengers to digitally verify drivers and establish a new council at the Department of Transportation to develop performance standards for ride share technologies:
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“Thank you, madam speaker and I thank the gentleman for yielding me the time. Let me begin by thanking my friend, Mr. Smith, Mr. Davis. Thank you so much, Mr. Defazio, Mr. Suozzi. Thank you, guys, very much for bringing forth this bipartisan bill.
“In March 2019, Samantha Josephson, a 21-year old native of New Jersey, was finishing her senior year at the University of South Carolina in my congressional district. She was a great student and had earned a full scholarship to study at Drexel University School of Law to pursue her dream of practicing international law. Sami, as she was known to her family and friends, did not get a chance to fulfill those dreams.
“After an evening out with friends, she decided to order a ride share home. Video captured her getting into a black car that she assumed was her ride. Instead of being her ride, the unmarked car was driven by a predator who kidnapped and killed her.
“Today, we are voting on Sami’s Law to put protections in place to prevent similar tragedies.
“This legislation makes it illegal for anyone other than the ride share companies to sell ride share vehicle signs so predators can’t impersonate an authorized driver. It also institutes the additional safeguard of a new code system that will allow the passenger to verify that the vehicle is their ride before they get into the car.
“Finally, the bill sets up a new council at the Department of Transportation to develop performance standards for ride share technologies to ensure that our safety protocols keep up with the pace of technology.
“I want to thank once again Congressman Chris Smith, my Republican colleague from Sami’s New Jersey hometown, for his sponsorship of this bipartisan bill.
“I have met with Sami’s parents, and I want to thank them for their strength and commitment to ensuring this legislation becomes law.
“And I want to thank my colleagues in advance of their votes, hopefully in favor of this legislation, that will allow Sami’s legacy and enacts important safeguards to protect rideshare users from predatory behavior.
“I yield back the balance of my time.”