The New Jersey Legislature will impose new rules for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft as they will be introducing a further consumer protection.
Uber and Lyft are amongst the most renowned ride-sharing services to be operating in New Jersey. However, just as the other services, they will have to follow a new set of rules.
The New Jersey legislature included ride-sharing service regulations. However, it did not have specific rules about the services’ contact with the drivers. Nor did it have a fixed insurance value.
However, this has been set to change. Before the holidays, the New Jersey Legislature gathered in session. During it, they voted a ride-hailing service-related bill.
This was voted with an overwhelming majority. It will address a number of the aforementioned issues. As such, it will impose a specific insurance limit. It will also establish background check requirements.
Ride-hailing companies will have to maintain a specific insurance level. This has been set at around $1.5 million for commercial auto coverages.
Such companies will also have to carry out background checks. These would target their drivers. The transportation companies will also have to stop from potentially making discriminations.
As such, its riders would have to be accepted no matter their intended destination, race, or age. Their gender identity, amongst others, would also have to stop being a factor.
If the new bill passes, New Jersey would be the 37th state to have passed a ride-sharing-related law.
Local authorities have been dealing with the matter for a number of years. The limousine and taxicab industries have long since been asking for such a bill. They have been demanding rules that would treat ride-hailing services similarly.
One of the most pressing matters were the said background checks. These have given rise to many discussions and debates.
Limousine drivers are asked to follow fingerprint tests. These are taken as part of the criminal background checks.
These drivers have argued that Uber and Lyft ones should follow the same procedure. Other public service domains request such checks. School-bus drivers and Little League coaches, for example, must also be fingerprinted.
However, those in favor of such a practice did not provide a powerful enough argue. As such, Uber won out in the matter. They were backed by the U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder.
In the summer, Holder sent a letter to the New Jersey-based lawmakers. In its, he pointed out the potential discriminatory character of the fingerprint tests.
He argued that such background checks were flawed. They could also discriminate minorities, according to him.
As such, the current bill introduced a new background check policy. The New Jersey Legislature proposed the following. Ride-hailing companies can provide their own background-check methods.
These will be submitted for review to the state’s attorney general. If the authority does not deem them as sufficient, a new check would be introduced.
As such, the respective potential driver would have to pass a check carried out by the State Police.
Another point of the bill once again targeted insurance. According to it, this would have to span throughout all the ride.
This means that it should cover the period when the rider is in the car. But it will also have to ensure insurance whilst the driver is commuting so as to pick up the rider.
Uber and Lyft declared to already be following the insurance regulation. According to them, they are providing the $1.5 million commercial auto coverage. This fits the latest New Jersey Legislature.
It remains to be seen if the new bill will be adopted. At the moment, it is pending as it awaits Governor Christie’s approval.
Image Source: Wikimedia