Rep. Smith Bringing Parents of Murdered Uber Rider to State of the Union

Rep. Chris Smith (R-Manchester) today welcomed Marci Parents of slain N.J. woman lobby for legislationand Seymour Josephson—whose daughter Sami was brutally murdered in 2019 by a predator pretending to be her Uber driver—as his guests for the President’s State of the Union address.

The Josephsons’ trip to Capitol Hill comes just one month after Smith’s legislation named in honor of their daughter—Sami’s Law—was enacted. The law (PL 117-330) is the first phase of a larger legislative effort by Smith and the Josephsons to enhance safety for rideshare passengers and drivers.

Earlier in the day, the Josephsons and Smith met with representatives from the Government Accountability Office (GAO)—the “congressional watchdog” that is required by Sami’s Law to investigate and provide an independent, comprehensive report to Congress on the incidence of assault and abuse of rideshare passengers and drivers each year. The Josephsons will also join Smith at meetings with key lawmakers on Wednesday.

“Marci and Seymour have been heroic, tenacious, and selfless over the past few years pushing for comprehensive new protection policies at Uber and Lyft notwithstanding their excruciating agony over the loss of their precious daughter,” said Smith. “I am honored to have them join me at the State of the Union address.”

In addition to making frequent trips to the Capitol over the past three years to help advance Sami’s Law, Marci and Seymour have also created the #WHATSMYNAME Foundation to educate the world on rideshare safety and have spoken at schools across the nation to help raise greater awareness among students.

“The Josephsons have, and are, making a lasting change,” Smith continued. “Their advocacy has saved lives and made so many more of us situationally aware of the dangers of using Uber and Lyft.”

According to two reports released by Uber, there were 9,805 allegations of serious physical assault by Uber drivers in the United States—and 39 people were killed in physical assaults during or soon after an Uber ride—over a 4-year period from 2017 to 2020. Lyft’s own safety record revealed 4,158 allegations of such assaults in a 3-year period from 2017 to 2019.

Smith said he will continue to work closely with the Josephsons in the coming months as GAO staff begin conducting the study required by Sami’s Law to better protect rideshare drivers and passengers.

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