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  • NJ A609
  • Establishes insurance and safety requirements for companies that use digital network or software application to match passengers with drivers.
Introduced
(1/27/2016)
In Committee
(1/27/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
The bill establishes safety and insurance requirements for transportation network companies that conduct business in this State. A "transportation network company" (TNC) 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 TNC. 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 TNC's digital network or software application which results in a fare being owed by the passenger. Motor Vehicle Commission The bill requires a TNC to obtain a permit from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (commission) to operate in New Jersey. To obtain the permit, the TNC is required to provide proof of required insurance, proof that the TNC 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. The commission is required to establish a driver's license endorsement for drivers and to issue the endorsement: 1) upon receipt of proof from the TNC that it has completed the required verifications, checks, inspections, and searches; and 2) upon the successful completion of a criminal history record background check performed by the Division of State Police in the Department of Law and Public Safety. The commission is also required to issue an identifying marker in a design determined by the chief administrator to any person who receives a driver's license endorsement. Insurance Requirements A TNC is required to ensure that an insurance policy from an insurance company duly licensed to transact business under the insurance laws of this State or from an eligible surplus lines insurer is in effect which: (1) from the moment a driver logs on to the TNC's digital network or software application until the moment the driver accepts a request to transport a passenger, and from the moment all passengers have exited the transportation network vehicle until the driver either accepts a 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 for an incident involving a transportation network vehicle in an amount of not less than $150,000 per incident for liability coverage and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, $25,000 per incident for property damage, and medical payments coverage in an amount not less than $10,000 per person per incident; and (2) from the moment a driver accepts a request to transport a passenger on the TNC's digital network or software application until the moment all passengers have exited the transportation network vehicle: provides coverage for an incident involving a transportation network vehicle in an amount of not less than $1,500,000 per incident 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. This insurance coverage may be satisfied by an insurance policy obtained by a TNC; an insurance policy, rider, or endorsement obtained by a driver from a private passenger automobile insurance company issued specifically to cover the use of a transportation network vehicle by a driver, provided that proof is placed on file with the TNC; or any combination of these two. The insurance is required to cover the transportation network vehicle, passengers, and transportation network drivers. Transportation Network Company (TNC) Requirements In addition to the insurance requirements, the bill provides that the TNC is to: 1) appoint an agent for the service of process in this State; 2) verify that an applicant is at least 21 years of age and 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 approved by the commission 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 for three years if the driver license record check reveals any disqualifying violation; 4) conduct, either directly or through a third party, a safety inspection approved by the commission 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; 5) conduct, either directly or by a third party, a search of the United States Department of Justice's Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website for an applicant's name and once every three years for a driver's name, and prohibit any person included on the website from being a transportation network driver; 6) implement a zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy, prominently display the zero tolerance policy on the website and digital network or software application, and provide a mechanism for passengers to make complaints concerning suspected violations of the policy; 7) clearly and prominently display the estimated fare to be assessed, including any additional amount to be assessed based on the demand for transportation network drivers at a certain time or in a certain location, to a passenger or potential passenger on the digital network or software application prior to the passenger entering the transportation network vehicle; 8) cooperate with, and facilitate the exchange of information between, the insurance company providing the TNC's required insurance and all other insurers involved in a claims coverage investigation; 9) retain records, for at least two years, of each driver's use of a transportation network vehicle, and provide the records to the driver's private passenger automobile insurance company for purposes of a claim investigation, upon request; and 10) provide the commission with any other information the commission may require pursuant to rule or regulation. Transportation Network Driver Requirements A transportation network driver is required to obtain a driver's license endorsement from the commission. In addition, a driver is required to prominently display the identifying marker issued by the commission in the manner determined by the chief administrator whenever the driver is in the transportation network vehicle and is logged in to the TNC's digital network or software application. A driver is also required to keep proof of the driver's private passenger automobile insurance and of the insurance policy or policies in effect, which are required by the bill, in the vehicle. Fees for Operation The bill imposes a $0.10 fee on a TNC each time a TNC receives payment from a passenger on the TNC's digital network or software application provided that the transportation service takes place wholly within the State of New Jersey. The revenue generated from this fee is to be deposited into a "Transportation Network Company Fund" and appropriated to defray the commission's expenses incurred in the implementation and administration of the bill's provisions. Additional Provisions The bill provides that: 1) a TNC is not deemed to own, control, operate, or manage any vehicle used by a driver; 2) a TNC is not considered a taxicab association or a for-hire vehicle owner; and 3) a driver is not deemed an employee of a TNC unless the Department of Labor and Workforce Development makes that determination. Penalties A TNC that violates the provisions of 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.
Transportation and Independent Authorities
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee  (on 1/27/2016)
 
 

Date Chamber Action Description
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified