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Rep. Thomas Suozzi pushes ride-sharing regulations

Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-Glen Cove).

Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-Glen Cove). Credit: Barry Sloan

Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) last week testified before a House transportation subcommittee on legislation to require ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft to improve technology so customers can better identify drivers who pick them up.

Suozzi is a co-sponsor of a measure called Sami's Law, named after Samantha “Sami” Josephson, a University of South Carolina senior murdered earlier this year by a man impersonating her Uber driver. 

The legislation would mandate that ride-share vehicles have a scannable QR code on their window matching the one on the rider's smartphone. It also would require drivers to have illuminated signs visible day and night from about 50 feet away and prohibit the sale of signs with company logos to drivers not employed by the companies. 

"Uber and Lyft are great in the convenience they've brought to our lives. But new disruptive businesses like this often come without the policies in place to protect consumers' and employees' safety," Suozzi said in an interview.

Suozzi, whose district includes parts of Nassau, Suffolk and Queens, is the lead co-sponsor of Sami's Law, along with Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.). It's part of a package of bills aimed at regulating ride-sharing companies. 

"The challenge is to protect consumers and employees while making sure the industry survives," Suozzi said. 

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