Assemblymen Charles Mainor (D-31), Carmelo Garcia (D-33), Raj Mukherji (D-33) and Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez (D-32), were among the Hudson Democrats in the Assembly who advanced legislation from the Transportation Committee that will impose safety regulations on ride-sharing services like Uber. By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The bill (A-3765) establishes insurance and safety requirements for companies that use digital network or software application to match passengers with drivers, according to a media release sent to Hudson County View.
“This bill is a safety precaution to make sure that all passengers can rest assured that they will travel in a vehicle that is properly insured and is operated by a licensed, qualified driver,” Mainor said in a written statement.
“Given the growing popularity of this type of service, it would be irresponsible not to take the action necessary to safeguard passengers’ wellbeing.”
Provisions of the bill would require driver’s to be 21 years of age or older, as well as prohibit a person from becoming a Transportation Network Company (TNC) driver for three years following a conviction of DUI, reckless driving or driving while suspended.
Furthermore, the TNC would be forced to conduct a search of the Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender Public Website and prohibit any person on the website from being a TNC driver and also require the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to determine if TNC drivers are considered employees or independent contractors.
“This bill will bring our laws into the 21st century,” said in a prepared statement.
“It will enable users of Uber, Lyft and similar services to continue enjoying the conveniences resulting from technology and market competition while ensuring the same types of regulation associated with every other mode of transit in New Jersey that exist to keep the public safe.”
Garcia, Mukherji’s old running mate, echoed his sentiment:
“It’s clear that there’s a demand for ride-sharing services, and if residents who own cars wish to work with them to boost their incomes – particularly in this still-sluggish job market – they ought to be able to pursue that,” Garcia explained in a statement.
“This legislation simply acknowledges that any company in the business of providing a service has to abide by rules that advance public safety.”
Garcia let Hudson County View know that he would be supporting the proposal via Twitter this afternoon:
Jimenez also touted the importance of safety when dealing with services like Uber and Lyft.
“Above all else, the priority here should be making sure that anyone who chooses to drive for a ride-sharing service and anyone who chooses to be a passenger with a ride-sharing service will be safe,” Jimenez wrote in a statement.
“Having regulations in place to protect the people of New Jersey will only improve the quality of these services for all parties involved.”
Assemblymen Joseph Lagana (D-38), Troy Singleton (D-7), John McKeon (D-27), Craig Coughlin (D-19) and John Wisniewski (D-19), as well as Assemblywoman L. Grace Spender (D-29), also approved the bill in the Transportation Committee.
A full list of the perimeters for TNC drivers can be read here.