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Parents of Samantha Josephson push education of rideshare safety as 4th annual 5K is underway

Parents of Samantha Josephson push to action the education of rideshare safety
Parents of Samantha Josephson push to action the education of rideshare safety 02:53

ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. (CBS) -- A Mercer County family is turning their pain and grief into awareness.

Four and a half years ago, Samantha Josephson was killed after ordering an Uber home from a college party in South Carolina and she mistakenly got into the wrong car. Ever since her parents have been working to educate everyone on rideshare safety.

In the weeks after Josephson was killed, her parents started the WHAT'S MY NAME Foundation to educate and make sure people are getting into the right cars.

The living room and dining room inside Seymour and Marci Josephson's home in Robbinsville are filled with pamphlets and signs ahead of the 4th annual WHAT'S MY NAME 5K.

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"It's about giving back and it's about education so this never happens again," Seymour Josephson said.

In March 2019, Sami, a student at the University of South Carolina, ordered an Uber and mistakenly got into a car she thought was her ride. But the stranger was not an Uber driver. 

He killed the 21-year-old in the car. She was only months away from attending Drexel University's law school on a full scholarship.

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"It doesn't get easier," Seymour Josephson said.

He has since quit his 30-year career in tech sales and made it his mission to build the WHAT'S MY NAME Foundation full-time.

"It's really about us traveling and educating from colleges to airports to police departments," Seymour Josephson said.

The Josephson family is working to put Sami signs in airports and on college campuses across the country to reinforce safety. Encouraging people to double-check that the license plate matches the one displayed in the rideshare app and to make sure the driver knows your name.

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Since Sami was killed, Uber told CBS News Philadelphia safety measures have been increased, saying in a statement that reads in part, "We've invested in building policies and features into the app, like the ability to share trip information and live tracking with loved ones, and most recently an in-app audio recording feature..."

Seymour Josephson says the WHAT'S MY NAME Foundation's message is gaining traction around the world and he will continue to tell his daughter's story.

"Slow down and take the necessary steps to be safe cause it can save your life," he said.

The 5K begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at Gazebo Park in Robbinsville rain or shine.

Here are the links to rideshare companies highlighting safety features:

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