The National Limousine Association (NLA), a non-profit organization responsible for and dedicated to representing the interests of the private driver transportation industry, in February published revisions to the organization’s passenger Bill of Rights and driver Duty of Care. Continuing a legacy of highlighting and promoting safety in the industry, the NLA strongly encourages all operators, drivers, legislators and passengers to take notice. The amendments directly reflect and align with the National Transportation Safety Board’s recently reiterated recommendations concerning safety briefings, certification transparency and safety belts.
With these revisions, the NLA advocates for stricter safety standards and calls for universal regulations for the private ground transportation industry (inclusive of ride-hail application services, such as Uber and Lyft).
Pertaining to the Bill of Rights, it is the NLA’s belief that all passengers of any chauffeured vehicle are entitled to the following, and should have the right to request that their prearranged car service and driver to provide:
- Proof of proper commercial-for-hire licensing and certifications as governed by local, state and federal regulations
- Proof that the vehicle has undergone regular inspections, is certified safe, and mechanically sound
- Information concerning the passenger and total load limit of the vehicle
- A safe and courteous driver that obeys all traffic laws with proof of commercial vehicle insurance
- A fully-vetted and trained driver that has undergone official criminal background checks and pre-hire drug testing
- A pre-trip safety briefing – given either verbally or by video, as per individual state regulations – that details locations of emergency exits, and any applicable emergency procedures
- Access to fully functioning seatbelts for all passengers, as well as a child safety seat restraint system, in accordance with state regulations
- Ready access to the transportation service provider, via email, telephone or in-person, of the ground transportation service to voice any concerns or complaints that arise before, during and after the ride
- A quoted fare for your trip and a final charge that matches that agreed-upon amount (except in cases of changes in trip itinerary or duration)
- Air conditioning or heat on request
Regarding the Duty of Care, all ground transportation services and drivers, whose vehicles include but are not limited to sedans, SUVs, vans, mini-coaches or buses should adopt the following strongly suggested practices. Drivers should be properly screened, licensed and trained, which includes the following:
- Criminal background and security check by a certified agency or equivalent
- Pre-hire drug testing and random testing program, when required by USDOT
- Driver training program that includes driver duties, customer service, safety and defensive driving skills
- Certified medical examination, as required by local, state and federal regulations
- Proper supervision, retraining and discipline when appropriate
Ground transportation vehicles should be properly licensed, safe, and commercially insured, which includes the following:
- Commercial insurance with liability coverage, as required by local, state and federal regulations
- Proper licensing permits
- Proper modification certification (if applicable)
- Motor vehicle inspections, as required by local, state and federal regulations
The NLA is committed to raising existing accepted standards to help prevent horrific tragedies.
“Passenger safety and security is paramount to ensuring that we are protecting lives on our nation’s roadways,” said Gary Buffo, President of the National Limousine Association. “As a leader in the industry, the NLA will continue to push for a recognized operating procedure throughout the country when it comes to safety, while also ensuring that those who put a priority on safety are not financially penalized. Fortifying our Duty of Care & Bill of Rights demonstrates our association’s commitment to strict protocol and the safety of our riders.”
Through its public-facing Ride Responsibly initiative founded in 2015, the NLA has formed numerous partnerships to advocate for stricter standards in safety, privacy and accountability, particularly as it relates to ride-hailing apps that do not perform proper service-provider background checks, and which do not adhere to safety, privacy and labor standards.
For more information, visit www.rideresponsibly.org.