USC Aiken students respond to ride-sharing bill in South Carolina legislature


Students at University of South Carolina Aiken spent the week planning ways to honor three students who died last week. 

This comes as state lawmakers discuss a newly-introduced rideshare bill aimed at keeping people safe in Uber and Lyft vehicles. 

While students discuss ways they can use those rideshare apps safely, one state lawmaker hopes a bill passes that will require the ridesharing companies to put forth more effort to ensure people get inside the right vehicle. 

“Check who you’re riding with before you actually get in the vehicle,” said USC Aiken Student Body President Brandon Eberl of the resounding message heard throughout campus.

Students spent the past week mourning and re-thinking their own safe ridesharing practices after one of their own stepped into the wrong Uber and died. 

“It’s so sad that this had to happen in order for people to [say] oh my goodness I need to make sure that I’m actually checking the car that I’m getting in,” said Q’Ladrin Qourters, USC Aiken Student Body Secretary.

21-year-old Samanthan Josephson, a USC student who stepped inside the wrong Uber while in the Five Points area of Columbia, was found dead later.  Her name could live on though through a bill, H. 4380, introduced by State Representative Seth Rose to help keep others using ridesharing services from getting into the wrong car. 

“This would simply mandate that the illuminated signs would have to be given to each driver,” State Rep. Rose, of Richland County, told NewsChannel 6.

Representative Rose also wants to implement a feature he said is already being done by Uber in larger cities where the light matches a color you can see from your phone.  

“I’ve met with Uber and they are not opposed to the bill and they are actually working on a safety feature now as well with their app,” he said. 

Eberl responded to that bill and said, “You can always just say something that you’re not.  So, I think that having a visual identification to go along with what’s already in place will further enhance security.”

“Uber is almost like a public taxi cab so it’s a personal taxi,” Qourters said. “Taxis have signs on their dash or on the top of their car to say that they are a taxi.”

Students also held a moment of silence for Josephson and two other students who died last week at USC Upstate and USC Salkehatchie.  

Lawmakers plan to vote on the bill, which Rep. Rose added would be named in Josephson’s honor, on Thursday.

Rep. Rose said the bill was taken without reference, a rare act, which means it skips committee and goes straight to the house floor. 

Rose hopes other states catch on to this too.

“This psychopath could have driven to any state, in any place, in college campus.  There could be copycats,” he said. 

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