On July 1, 2017, a new law creating regulations for ridesharing companies (“Transportation Network Companies” herein, “TNC”) became effective in Florida. Also known as the “Uber/Lyft Ridesharing Bill”, the law sets forth requirements a TNC must comply with, increasing precautions taken to protect riders, its drivers, and other drivers on the roads.
In order to be eligible to become a transportation network company driver, the potential driver must submit an application disclosing, at a minimum, his/her address, age, driver’s license information, and motor vehicle registration information. The TNC must perform a local and national criminal background check, as well as obtain the potential driver’s driving history report.
An applicant will be ineligible to be a driver for a TNC if he/she:
– Has had more than than three moving violations in the past three years;
– Has been convicted, within the past five years, of a felony, a misdemeanor for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, reckless driving, hit and run, fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, a violent offense, sexual battery, or a crime of lewdness or indecent exposure;
– Has been convicted, within the past three years, of driving with a suspended or revoked license;
– Is a match in the National Sex Offender Public Website maintained by the US Department of Justice;
– Does not have a valid driver’s license; or
– Does not have proof of registration for the vehicle used to provide prearranged rides.
The safety protections do not end at the time of hiring. The law requires a TNC to perform additional background checks on its drivers every three years. Further, the TNC must implement a zero tolerance policy for the use of drugs or alcohol while providing a pre-arranged ride or logged onto the network. If a rider notifies a TNC of his/her suspicion that a driver violated the policy, the TNC must investigate the incident. The driver’s ability to accept any ride request through the TNC would be suspended until completion of the investigation.
For added peace of mind, the TNC’s digital network is required to display a picture of the driver and the vehicle’s license plate number to the rider prior to a rider entering the vehicle. Fare transparency provisions also require the TNC to disclose the fare or fare calculation before beginning a ride. Additionally, the TNC will provide the rider with a receipt after completion of the ride with the origin and destination of the ride, the total time and distance of the ride, and the fare paid. The TNC must maintain these records of individual rides for at least 1 year after each ride and records of TNC drivers for at least 1 year after the driver ends its relationship with the TNC.
Unlike taxi companies, transportation network company drivers use their own personal vehicles, rather than commercial vehicles. Accordingly, this law requires coverage beyond Florida’s standard insurance coverage for personal vehicles, while logged into the network, and when providing a ride. The additional coverage may be provided by the TNC driver, the TNC on behalf of the driver, or a combination of the two. However, there are distinctions between the amount of coverage required when providing a ride and when simply logged into the network.
While logged into the network but not providing a ride:
– Coverage of at least $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person;
– Coverage of at least $100,000 for death and bodily injury per incident;
– Coverage of at least $25,000 for property damage;
– Personal injury protection benefits that meet the minimum coverage amounts required under §627.730-627.7405; and
– Uninsured and underinsured vehicle coverage as required by 627.727.
While providing a ride:
– Coverage of at least $1 million for death, bodily injury, and property damage;
– Personal injury protection benefits that meet the minimum coverage amounts required of a limousine under 627.730-627.7405; and
– Uninsured and underinsured vehicle coverage as required by §627.727.
Were you injured in an Uber or Lyft accident? Whether you were a rider, an Uber or Lyft driver, or injured by an Uber or Lyft vehicle, our team of experienced accident attorneys are here to help. Call us today at (800) 247-2727.