At the April 28th Broward County Public Hearing, the Board of County Commissioners voted to update and expand the County’s Motor Carrier Ordinance. As some of you may know, this item sparked a lot of attention, and now, the ordinance provides a framework allowing Uber, Lyft and other Transportation Network Carriers to operate legally within Broward County.
The County voted on a variety of matters, but the three that pertain directly to this issue include requirements for Transportation Network Carriers to conduct background checks, vehicle inspections and obtain insurance.
1. Background Checks:
All Uber and Taxi Drivers will:
• Provide their fingerprints to Broward County.
• Register with the County as a Chauffeur.
• The County will receive a “ping,” which is a computer alert, from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement if anyone working as a Chauffeur in Broward is arrested in the state of Florida.
2. Vehicle Inspections:
• All for hire vehicles must complete a 19 point vehicle inspection by an ASE Certified Mechanic once per year.
• State of Florida sets a minimum requirement for all vehicles for hire to be 24/7 coverage by a Standard Line Insurance Carrier, with Commercial Vehicle Insurance.
• Broward County requires all for hire vehicles to meet state requirements for insurance.
Editor’s notes: Companies, like Uber, have been threatening to pull out of Broward if this measure passed. Part of their argument was that the cost of doing business would increase so much that they couldn’t afford to stay in Broward. Balance those interests against the interest of protecting the users from all sorts of harm that is presently protected under the traditional Taxi business model and you might be able to see how beneficial the ordinance actually is. Protection from possible bodily harm caused by a driver, a car accident or getting stranded from a driver who doesn’t properly care for their vehicle would not exist without this ordinance being put into place. Worst case scenario, because that’s what lawyers always envision, another car rams into the vehicle you hired while you are “Ubering It.” You are taken to the hospital for serious injuries and you later find out that the driver of the other vehicle is uninsured AND the Uber driver is also uninsured. Exactly who pays for your visit to the hospital and the rehabilitation? Y-O-U. Yes, Uber is cheap, but always remember, you get what you pay for.