SENATE, No. 2742

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 9, 2015

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  BRIAN P. STACK

District 33 (Hudson)

Senator  JOSEPH PENNACCHIO

District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Bateman and A.R.Bucco

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes insurance and safety requirements for companies that use digital network or software application to match passengers with drivers.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning transportation network companies and supplementing Title 39 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 a transportation network driver.

     "Commission" means the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

     “Passenger” means a person who prearranges transportation with a transportation network driver through a transportation network company’s digital network or software application or a passenger in a transportation network vehicle for whom transportation is provided and who pays a fare based upon the transportation provided.

     “Personal information” shall have the same meaning as in section 1 of P.L.1997, c.188 (C.39:2-3.3).

     “Private passenger automobile” means an automobile required to be insured pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-1 et seq.).

     “Transportation network company” means an individual, corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or other entity that uses a digital network or software application to connect a passenger to a transportation network driver for the purpose of providing transportation to the passenger for profit by the transportation network company.  “Transportation network company” shall not include an individual, corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or other entity arranging non-emergency medical transportation for individuals qualifying for Medicaid under P.L.1968, c.413 (C.30:4D-1 et seq.) or Medicare under the federal Social Security Act, Pub.L.89-97 (42 U.S.C. s.1395 et seq.) pursuant to a contract with the State or a managed care organization.

     “Transportation network driver” or “driver” means a person who operates a private passenger automobile to provide transportation to a passenger who requests transportation through a transportation network company’s digital network or software application which results in a fare being owed by the passenger.

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

 

     2.    The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission shall:

     a.     Issue to a transportation network company a permit to allow for the lawful operation of a transportation network company in this State upon receipt of the following information:

     (1) proof of insurance as required pursuant to section 5 of P.L.    , c.     (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill);

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

     (3) any other information the commission may require.

     The commission may revoke the permit if the transportation network company fails to comply with the provisions of P.L.    , c.     (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     b.    Establish a driver’s license endorsement for transportation network drivers and issue the endorsement to a transportation network driver upon receipt of proof from the transportation network company that the transportation network company has:

     (1) verified that the transportation network driver has a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and automobile insurance as required pursuant to subsection c. of section 3 of P.L.  , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill);

     (2)  conducted, either directly or by a third party, a driver license record check which did not reveal any disqualifying violations, as required pursuant to subsections d. and e. of section 3 of P.L.    , c.     (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill);

     (3) conducted, either directly or by a third party, a criminal history background check which did not reveal any disqualifying convictions, as required pursuant to subsections f. and g. of section 3 of P.L.    , c.     (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill); and

     (4) conducted, either directly or by a third party, a safety inspection of the driver’s transportation network vehicle which met safety inspection standards, as required pursuant to subsections h. and i. of section 3 of P.L.    , c.     (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     c.     The commission and any officer, employee, or contractor of the commission shall not knowingly disclose to any person the personal information of a transportation network driver obtained by the commission pursuant to P.L.    , c.     (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill). 

 

     3.    A transportation network company shall not operate in this State unless the transportation network company:

     a.     applies for, receives, and maintains a permit from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission as provided pursuant to subsection a. of section 2 of P.L.    , c.     (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill);

     b.    appoints an agent for the service of process in this State, to be filed with the commission and notifies the commission of any change of the agent or the address or other contact information for the agent within 15 days of the effective date of the change;

     c.     (1) verifies that an applicant has a valid driver license, vehicle registration, and private passenger automobile insurance issued pursuant to P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-1 et seq.); and

     (2) annually verifies that a transportation network driver has a valid driver license, vehicle registration, and private passenger automobile insurance issued pursuant to P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-1 et seq.); and

     d.    (1) conducts, either directly or by a third party, a driver license record check on an applicant; and

     (2) once every three years, conducts, either directly or by a third party, a driver license record check on a transportation network driver; and

     e.     prohibits an applicant or driver from providing transportation to a passenger if the driver license record check reveals any of the following violations:

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

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

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

     (4)   a violation committed in any other state, territory, commonwealth, or other jurisdiction of the United States that is comparable to one of the violations enumerated in paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection; or

     (5)   any other violation as determined by the commission;

     f.     (1) conducts, either directly or by a third party, a criminal history record background check on an applicant; and

     (2) once every three years, conducts either directly or by a third party, a criminal history record background check on a transportation network driver;

     g.    prohibits an applicant or driver from providing transportation to a passenger if the criminal history record background check reveals any of the following convictions:

     (1)   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;

     (2)   a conviction in a court of competent jurisdiction for a crime committed in any other state, territory, commonwealth, or other jurisdiction of the United States, which in that other jurisdiction is comparable to one of the crimes enumerated in paragraph (1) of this subsection; or

     (3)   any other conviction as determined by the commission;

     h.    (1) conducts, either directly or by a third party, a safety inspection of a vehicle an applicant will use as a transportation network vehicle; and

     (2) once every other year, conducts either directly or by a third party, a safety inspection of a vehicle used by a transportation network driver;

     i.     prohibits an applicant or driver from providing transportation to a passenger until an applicant’s vehicle or a driver’s transportation network vehicle passes a safety inspection, required pursuant to subsection h. of this section, by meeting inspection standards established by the commission, which inspection shall include, but need not be limited to, the following equipment:

     (1)  foot brakes;

     (2)  emergency brakes;

     (3)  steering mechanism;

     (4)  windshield;

     (5)  rear window and other glass;

     (6)  windshield wipers;

     (7)  headlights;

     (8)  tail lights;

     (9)  turn indicator lights;

     (10) stop lights;

     (11)  front seat adjustment mechanism;

     (12)  doors;

     (13)  horn;

     (14)  speedometer;

     (15)  bumpers;

     (16)  muffler and exhaust system;

     (17)  condition of the tires, including tread depth;

     (18)  interior and exterior rear view mirrors; and

     (19)  safety belts and air bags for driver and passengers;

     j.    (1) implements a drug and alcohol policy that prohibits being under the influence and the consumption of illegal drugs or alcohol by a transportation network driver while logged into the digital network or software application or while providing transportation to a passenger; and

     (2) requires an applicant to be tested, at the applicant's expense, for a dangerous controlled substance as defined in N.J.S.2C:35-2. The Chief Administrator of the commission shall adopt regulations, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), for the licensing and testing of applicants.  The regulations shall be substantially similar to the regulations of New York City concerning the testing of an applicant for a for-hire vehicle driver's license pursuant to Title 35 of the New York City Rules and Regulations;

     k.    maintains a record demonstrating that the transportation network company has met the requirements of this section and makes the record available to the commission upon request;

     l.     cooperates with, and facilitates the exchange of information between, the insurance company providing the transportation network company the insurance required pursuant to section 5 of P.L.    , c.     (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) and all other insurers involved in a claims coverage investigation of an occurrence while a transportation network driver is providing transportation to a passenger;

     m.   retains records, for at least two years, of each transportation network driver’s use of a transportation network vehicle which records shall include:

     (1) the date, time, and duration of time during which the transportation network driver logged on to the transportation network company’s digital network or software application to indicate the transportation network driver’s availability;

     (2) the locations and mileage data associated with the transportation provided to each passenger, if available; and

     (3) any claims for injury or property damage arising in connection with transportation provided to a passenger, including claims payments made, if applicable;

     n.    provides, upon request, the records retained pursuant to subsection m. of this section to the transportation network driver’s private passenger automobile insurance for purposes of a claim investigation; and

     o.    provides the commission with any other information the commission may require pursuant to rule or regulation.

 

     4.    A transportation network driver shall not provide transportation to a passenger in this State unless:

     a. that person has been issued an endorsement on that person’s driver license to operate a transportation network vehicle as provided pursuant to subsection b. of section 2 of P.L.   , c.    (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill);

     b.    that person maintains in the transportation network vehicle proof of the person’s private passenger automobile insurance issued pursuant to P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-1 et seq.) and proof of the transportation network company’s insurance policy required pursuant to section 5 of P.L.    , c.     (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     5.    a.  A transportation network company shall be required to obtain an insurance policy from an insurance company duly licensed to transact business under the insurance laws of this State which:

     (1)  from the moment a transportation network driver logs on to the transportation network company’s digital network or software application until the moment the transportation network driver accepts a request to transport a passenger, and from the moment all passengers have exited the transportation network vehicle until the transportation network driver either accepts another request to transport another passenger on the digital network or software application or logs off the digital network or software application, whichever is later: provides coverage in an amount of not less than $250,000 per incident involving a transportation network vehicle for liability, property damage, and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, and medical payments coverage in an amount not less than $10,000 per person per incident involving a transportation network vehicle; and

     (2)  from the moment a transportation network driver accepts a request to transport a passenger on the transportation network company’s digital network or software application until the moment all passengers have exited the transportation network vehicle: provides coverage in an amount of not less than $1,500,000 per incident involving a transportation network vehicle for liability, property damage, and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage; and medical payments coverage in an amount not less than $10,000 per person per incident involving a transportation network vehicle.

     b.    The coverage required pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall:

     (1) be deemed to meet the requirements of P.L.1972, c.197 (C.39:6B-1 et seq.); and

     (2) cover the transportation network vehicle, passengers, where applicable, and notwithstanding the provisions of subsection c. of section 6 of P.L.    , c.     (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the transportation network driver.

     c.     The transportation network company insurance policy maintained by a transportation network company as required by this section, shall be in force and effect any time a transportation network driver is logged in to the transportation network company’s digital network or software application and when a passenger is in a transportation network vehicle.  A policy of private passenger automobile insurance shall not be deemed to be in force at any time a transportation network driver is logged in to the transportation network company’s digital network or software application or when a passenger is in a transportation network vehicle.

 

     6.    Notwithstanding any law, rule, or regulation to the contrary:

     a.     a transportation network company shall not be deemed to own, control, operate, or manage any vehicle used by a transportation network driver;

     b.    a transportation network company shall not be considered a taxicab association or a for-hire vehicle owner; and

     c.     a transportation network driver shall not be deemed to be an employee of a transportation network company.

 

     7.    A transportation network company which violates the provisions 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," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.) pursuant to this section.

 

     8.    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).

 

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

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill establishes safety and insurance requirements for transportation network companies that conduct business in this State.  A “transportation network company” means an individual, corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or other entity that uses a digital network or software application to connect a passenger to a transportation network driver for the purpose of providing transportation to the passenger for profit by the transportation network company.  A “transportation network driver” (driver) is a person who operates a private passenger automobile to provide transportation to a passenger who requests transportation through a transportation network company’s digital network or software application which results in a fare being owed by the passenger. 

     The bill requires a transportation network company to obtain a permit from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (commission) to operate in New Jersey.  To obtain the permit, the transportation network company is required to provide proof of required insurance, proof that the transportation network company is licensed to conduct business in this State, and any other information the commission may require. The commission is prohibited from disclosing to any person a transportation network driver’s personal information.

     A transportation network company is required to obtain an insurance policy from an insurance company duly licensed to transact business under the insurance laws of this State which:

     (1)  from the moment a transportation network driver logs on to the transportation network company’s digital network or software application until the moment the transportation network driver accepts a request to transport a passenger, and from the moment all passengers have exited the transportation network vehicle until the transportation network driver either accepts another request to transport another passenger on the digital network or software application or logs off the digital network or software application, whichever is later: provides coverage in an amount of not less than $250,000 per incident involving a transportation network vehicle for liability, property damage, and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, and medical payments coverage in an amount not less than $10,000 per person per incident involving a transportation network vehicle; and

     (2)  from the moment a transportation network driver accepts a request to transport a passenger on the transportation network company’s digital network or software application until the moment all passengers have exited the transportation network vehicle: provides coverage in an amount of not less than $1,500,000 per incident involving a transportation network vehicle for liability, property damage, and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage; and medical payments coverage in an amount not less than $10,000 per person per incident involving a transportation network vehicle.

     In addition, the transportation network company is required to:

1)      appoint an agent for the service of process in this State;

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

3)      conduct, either directly or through a third party, a driver license record check on an applicant and a driver license record check on a driver every three years, and prohibit an applicant or driver from providing transportation to a passenger if the driver license record check reveals any disqualifying violation;

4)      conduct, either directly or through a third party, a criminal history record background check on an applicant and a criminal history background check every three years on a driver, and prohibit an applicant or driver from providing transportation to a passenger if the criminal history record background check reveals any disqualifying conviction;

5)      conduct, either directly or through a third party, a safety inspection of a vehicle an applicant will use as a transportation network vehicle and once every other year conduct a safety inspection on a transportation network vehicle, and prohibit an applicant or driver from providing transportation to a passenger until an applicant or driver’s transportation network vehicle passes a safety inspection;

6)      implement a zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy and require an applicant to be tested, at the applicant's expense, for dangerous controlled substances;

7)      cooperate with, and facilitate the exchange of information between, the insurance company providing the transportation network company’s required insurance and all other insurers involved in a claims coverage investigation of an occurrence while a transportation network driver is providing transportation to a passenger;

8)      retain records, for at least two years, of each transportation network driver’s use of a transportation network vehicle, and provide the records to the transportation network driver’s private passenger automobile insurance for purposes of a claim investigation, upon request; and

9)      provide the commission with any other information the commission may require pursuant to rule or regulation

     A person who intends to provide transportation network trips is required to obtain a license endorsement from the commission.  The commission is to issue the endorsement upon receipt of proof from the transportation network company that it has verified that the driver has a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and automobile insurance, passed the required driver license record check and criminal history background check, and conducted a safety inspection of the vehicle the transportation network driver will use.  In addition, the person is required to keep proof of the person’s private passenger automobile insurance and of the transportation network company’s insurance policy in the vehicle.

     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.