COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - If you hailed an Uber or Lyft ride over the weekend you may have noticed something different on the vehicle you got into you.
That’s because a new law requiring drivers to display their license plate information of their vehicle is now in effect.
John Knapp drives for Lyft in the Columbia area. He said when lawmakers were proposing changes in the aftermath of Samantha Josephson’s death he was worried.
“When it first happened, I thought, ‘Oh boy, there’s going to be a bunch of regulations that come down that cost drivers money,” he said.
Governor Henry McMaster signed the Samantha L. Josephson Ridesharing Safety act into law earlier this month. Anyone driving for a ridesharing company like Uber or Lyft will now have a placard on the front of their vehicle.
Knapp said anything to improve safety is a good thing, “I have absolutely no problem with any of it. I think it’s good. The more we can do make things safe for passengers and drivers, the better off we are.”
The display can be put on the passenger side of the windshield near the Uber or Lyft decals. The numbers and letters on the display must be legible and bigger than two inches.
“It prevents people from having to walk around to the back of your car to doublecheck, which is what they were requiring people to do before,” Knapp said.
After the incident involving Josephson, Knapp said many of the college students he picked up were very focused on safety. He added Josephson’s death definitely flipped a switch for everybody. “I have noticed people are asking for my name. They’re walking around the car, doublechecking, looking at the license plate and that was not happening before.”
The new law also laws out guidelines for potential punishments for people misrepresenting themselves as rideshare drivers. They can face fines and jail time.
New requirements for rideshare drivers in effect in South Carolina