Lyft drivers get lighted signs for cars before state law goes into effect

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) By the summer of 2020, Rideshare drivers working for companies like Uber and Lyft will have to have a lighted sign on their car that shows they’re a ride-share driver.

Lawmakers passed the law in Raleigh after Samantha Josephson got into a car she thought was her Uber back in April in Columbia, South Carolina.

Her body was later found 90 miles away.

Representative John Bell was one of the main ones that were involved in getting the Passenger Protection Act passed in North Carolina.

Kaitlyn Baucom and Christian Gilleland are both freshmen at East Carolina University.

Kaitlyn says she’s used ride-share programs a few times.

Kaitlyn said, “I’ve had all good experiences with them, I usually ask them who they’re here to pick up.”

That’s a good thing — you’re supposed to ask rideshare drivers who they’re there for and make sure the make and model of the car match the description given on the app.

Lawmakers in Raleigh are taking it a step forward, passing the Passenger Protection Act.

It will require drivers with companies like Uber and Lyft to display a big light with the company logo on the car as an extra way to make sure that the person is who they say they are.

Rep. Bell said, “When I was growing up, I was told not to get in a car with strangers and now because of technology, people are getting in cars with strangers.

These rideshare companies are great, they help people get home or earn extra income, but we have to make sure they’re safe.”

Lyft has decided they’re not going to wait until 2020, they’re handing out lights to drivers now.

Last week, Rep. Bell was at an event in Raleigh where Lyft was already handing out lights to their drivers.

Kaitlyn said, “I’ve seen a few with lights actually and it just feels safer like that’s where you’re supposed to be going”

Christian, however, has been hesitant about ride-shares.

He said, “It’s just scary, I’m the type of person that walks people back to their dorms at night, particularly females but when I hear these stories, they’re always heartbreaking.” 

In a statement to WNCT, Lyft said,

“The safety of our passengers and drivers is fundamental to Lyft. We are working with North Carolina Lyft drivers to ensure they’re in compliance with the Passenger Protection Act prior to the law going into effect, including distributing the Lyft Amp to drivers across the state. We thank Leader Bell for his partnership throughout the legislative process.” 

Lyft

Most Uber and Lyft drivers have a sticker on their car, but we’re talking about a big light with the company’s logo on it.

Representative Bell says Lyft has more events planned for Charlotte, Greensboro, and one in eastern North Carolina soon, helping get the lights out to their drivers.

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