COLUMBIA, S.C. — Jury selection in the trial of the man accused of killing a USC student began Monday.
Investigators say in March of 2019 Nathaniel Rowland kidnapped and killed Samantha Josephson.
According to police Josephson got into Rowland's vehicle, mistaking it for her Uber. Her body was found hours later in a wooded area. Rowland was arrested the same day, after investigators say they found Josephson's blood and cellphone in the car he was driving.
This case sparked calls for ridesharing safety changes to make sure people knew the vehicle they were getting into was the one they ordered.
QUESTION: Have rideshare companies worked to make rides safer for customers after Samantha Josephson's murder?
ANSWER: Yes, ridesharing services have increased their safety measure.
WHAT WE FOUND:
In June 2019, the South Carolina Legislature passed the Samantha Josephson Ridesharing Safety Act, creating new requirements for rideshare drivers.
In South Carolina, they are now required to display their vehicle drivers license plate number on the front of their cars so that customers can see it clearly. Failure to do so can result in fines.
In September 2019, Uber and Lyft expanded safety measures nationwide. According to Uber's website, they now offer an emergency button where users can connect to 911.
Drivers are also required to snap selfies periodically to ensure they are where they claim to be on the app. There is also a ride verification system available with drivers required to enter a pin number from the passengers before the ride can begin.
Similar to Uber, Lyft added features to its app to ensure safety. According to Lyft's website, one feature allows you to share your ride and location with friends, and if your ride is stopped too soon or for an unusual amount of time, a representative will reach out to see if you need help.
These features won't work if you don't use them. It is always important to check the license plate of the car before you get into a ridesharing service to make sure it's the collect vehicle. Ridesharing services do provide the driver's picture, license plate number, and rating.
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