SENATE, No. 2274

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JUNE 26, 2014

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  BRIAN P. STACK

District 33 (Hudson)

Senator  JOSEPH PENNACCHIO

District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Directs MVC to establish permit and safety requirements for companies that use online application program to match passengers with drivers.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act concerning certain passenger transportation companies and supplementing Title 39 and Title 48 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    As used in P.L.    , c.    (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill):

     “Applicant” means a person who applies to a transportation network company to be hired as a transportation network driver.

     “Automobile insurance” shall have the same meaning as provided in section 25 of P.L.1990, c.8 (C.17:33B-13).

     "Commission" means the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

     “Passenger” means a person who prearranges a transportation network trip with a driver through a transportation network company’s online application program or a passenger in a transportation network vehicle for whom a transportation network trip is provided.

     “Transportation network company” or “company” means an individual, corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or other entity that uses an online application program to connect a passenger to a transportation network driver for the purpose of providing a transportation network trip.

     “Transportation network driver” or “driver” means a person who is employed by a transportation network company and who uses a transportation network vehicle to provide transportation to a passenger who prearranges a transportation network trip with the driver through a transportation network company’s online application program.

     “Transportation network trip” means the time period that begins when a transportation network driver accepts a prearranged trip request from a passenger through the online application program used by the transportation network company, that continues while the transportation network driver transports the passenger to the passenger’s destination, and that ends when the passenger departs from the transportation network vehicle and the driver terminates the transportation network trip on the online application program.

     “Transportation network vehicle” or “vehicle” means a personal motor vehicle used by a transportation network driver to provide a transportation network trip, that has at least four doors, and that is designed to carry not more than eight passengers, including the driver.

 

     2.  a.  The commission shall establish, in a form and manner as the commission shall prescribe, a transportation network company permit to allow for the lawful operation of a transportation network company in this State.

     b.  The commission shall issue a transportation network company permit when a transportation network company submits to the commission the information required pursuant to subsection b. of section 3 of P.L.    , c.    (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     3.    a.  A transportation network company shall not operate in this State unless the transportation network company applies for, receives, and maintains in good standing a permit from the commission, pursuant to the provisions of P.L.    , c.    (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     b.  A transportation network company desiring to conduct business in this State shall, in application to the commission for a transportation network permit, submit to the commission:

     (1)  a certificate of insurance, which shall include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, from an insurance company duly licensed to transact business under the insurance laws of this State, in an amount not less than $1,000,000 for each incident involving a driver during a transportation network trip;

     (2)  proof that the company is licensed to conduct business in this State; and

     (3)  any other information the commission may require.

 

     4.  a.  To maintain a transportation network company permit, issued pursuant to section 3 of P.L.    , c.    (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), a transportation network company shall:

     (1)  verify that an applicant, and annually that a transportation network driver, has a valid driver license, vehicle registration, and automobile insurance;

     (2)  conduct a driver license record check on an applicant, and every three years on a transportation network driver;

     (3)   prohibit an applicant or driver from providing a transportation network trip if the driver license record check reveals any disqualifying violations, which shall include, but not be limited to:

     (a)   reckless driving pursuant to R.S.39:4-96;

     (b)   driving while intoxicated pursuant to R.S.39:4-50;

     (c)   driving with a suspended or revoked license pursuant to R.S.39:5-30;

     (d)   in any other state, territory, commonwealth, or other jurisdiction of the United States, or any country in the world, a violation that is comparable to one of the violations enumerated in subparagraphs (a), (b), or (c) of this paragraph; or

     (e)   any other violation determined by the commission;

     (4) conduct a criminal history record background check on an applicant, and every three years on a transportation network driver;

     (5)   prohibit an applicant or driver from providing a transportation network trip if the criminal history record background check reveals any disqualifying convictions, which shall include, but not be limited to:

     (a)   aggravated assault, arson, burglary, escape, extortion, homicide, kidnapping, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault or endangering the welfare of a child pursuant to N.J.S.2C:24-4, whether or not armed with or having in the applicant’s or driver’s possession any weapon enumerated in subsection r. of N.J.S.2C:39-1, a crime pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.2C:39-3, N.J.S.2C:39-4, or N.J.S.2C:39-9, or other than a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense for the unlawful use, possession, or sale of a controlled dangerous substance as defined in N.J.S.2C:35-2;

     (b)   in any other state, territory, commonwealth, or other jurisdiction of the United States, or any country in the world, as a result of a conviction in a court of competent jurisdiction, a crime which in that other jurisdiction or country is comparable to one of the crimes enumerated in subparagraph (a) of this paragraph; or

     (c)  any other conviction determined by the commission;

     (6)  conduct a safety inspection of a vehicle an applicant will use as a transportation network vehicle, and bi-annually on a transportation network vehicle used by a transportation network driver;

     (7)   prohibit an applicant or driver from providing a transportation network trip until an applicant’s vehicle or a driver’s transportation network vehicle passes a safety inspection, pursuant to paragraph (6) of this subsection, by meeting inspection standards established by the commission;

     (8)  maintain a record of the requirements of paragraphs (1), (2), (4), and (6) of this subsection, which shall be made available to the commission upon request; and

     (9)  any other requirement determined by the commission.

     b.  The transportation network company shall implement a zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy that prohibits being under the influence and the consumption of drugs or alcohol by a transportation network driver while providing a transportation network trip.

 

     5.    A transportation network company who violates the provisions of section 4 of P.L.    , c.    (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, shall be subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 for the first offense, per driver, and up to $5,000 for each subsequent offense, per driver, to be collected in a civil action by a summary proceeding under the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).  If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it continues shall constitute an additional, separate and distinct offense.  The Superior Court and the municipal court shall have jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999" pursuant to this section.

 

     6.  The commission, in consultation with the Division of State Police in the Department of Law and Public Safety and the Department of Banking and Insurance, shall promulgate rules and regulations, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c. 410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), for the implementation of P.L.    , c.    (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), which shall include, but not be limited to:

     (1) transportation network company permit requirements;

     (2) transportation network company insurance requirements;

     (3) driver license violation disqualifications;

     (4) criminal conviction disqualifications; and

     (5) safety inspection criteria.

 

     7.  This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month following enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill directs the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (commission), in consultation with the Division of State Police in the Department of Law and Public Safety and the Department of Banking and Insurance, to promulgate rules and regulations concerning safety and insurance requirements for a transportation network company (company) that conducts business in this State.  In this bill, “transportation network company” means an individual, corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or other entity that uses an online application program to connect passengers to a transportation network driver (driver) for the purpose of providing a prearranged transportation network trip (trip).  “Transportation network driver” means a person who uses their own personal motor vehicle to provide transportation to a passenger who prearranges a trip with the driver through a company’s online application program.

     This bill prohibits a company from arranging a trip in this State until the commission has issued the company a permit to operate, which requires the company to submit to the commission a certificate of insurance, which is to include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, from an insurance company duly licensed to transact business under the insurance laws of this State, in an amount not less than $1,000,000 for each incident involving a driver during a trip.  The commission is not to issue a company a permit unless the company has submitted proof that the company is licensed to conduct business in the State.

     This bill provides that in order for a company to maintain a permit to conduct business in this State, a company is to:

     1)  verify that an applicant, and annually that a driver, has a valid driver license, vehicle registration, and automobile insurance;

     2)  conduct a driver license record check and criminal history record background check on the applicant, and every three years on drivers;

     3)  prohibit an applicant or driver from providing transportation network trips if the driver license record check or criminal history record background check reveals any disqualifying violations or convictions;

     4)  conduct a safety inspection of the vehicle an applicant is to use to provide trips, and bi-annually on a transportation network vehicle, and prohibit an applicant or driver from providing transportation network trips unless an applicant’s vehicle or a driver’s transportation network vehicle passes a safety inspection by meeting inspection standards established by the commission; and

     5)  maintain a record of these requirements, to be made available to the commission upon request.

     Under the bill, a company is to implement a zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy that prohibits a driver from being under the influence and consuming drugs or alcohol while providing a trip.

     A company that violates this bill, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to it, is to be subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 for the first offense, per driver, and up to $5,000 for each subsequent offense, per driver, to be collected in a civil action by a summary proceeding.