Wichita State University officials are speaking out about rideshare safety following the death of a University of South Carolina student.
Samantha Josephson, 21, was killed after getting into a car she mistook for her Uber.
“Unfortunately in today’s day and age, it’s not that surprising to hear,” said WSU Police Chief Rodney Clark.
Student safety is the police department’s number one priority.
“We pride ourselves in doing everything we can to keep students safe,” Clark said.
Several WSU students, and other community members, use rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft.
Clark offered tips before heading out on your next ride:
- Travel in groups. Criminals target those that are alone.
- Tell a friend. If you’re alone, let a friend know your plans and update them throughout the day/night.
- Trust your instincts. If something feels off, don’t get in the car and call 911.
WSU offers students a free mobile app, Rave Guardian, that turns any smartphone into a personal safety device.
Although South Carolina is miles away from Wichita, Clark stressed the importance of being aware of your surroundings.
“Anything could happen at anytime, but there’s certain things that you can do and that’s the number one thing that I would stress,” he said.
The police chief said he hasn’t received any reports of people impersonating Uber or Lyft drivers, and students haven’t reported ever feeling unsafe during a ride.
If WSU students don’t feel safe taking a rideshare service, they have an option of using the Shocker Shuttle. A partnership between WSU and Wichita Transit allows students, faculty and staff of WSU and WSU Tech to ride city buses for free and travel to and from campus on weekend evenings on the Q-Line Trolley service.
Uber, Lyft provide safety tips
Both rideshare companies have safety tips on their websites to maximize your safety before, during and after your ride.
WATCH: KSN’s Amanda Aguilar shares tips and shows safety features on rideshare apps.