As the owner of a livery vehicle or company, it is important to keep track of regulation changes and even legal disputes within the business. If you are not up to date and aware of changes, you may find yourself facing an issue or even lawsuit. Luckily, having livery insurance will keep your company afloat but it is still best to be informed on the latest news.
One of the most recent issues would be a lawsuit that took place in Tennessee. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County (Metro) placed new restrictions and regulations on motorized, non-taxi passenger vehicles for hire. This regulation was fought against by three Plaintiffs, all affordable livery vehicle owners. Their dispute? They believed that Metro “worked closely with expensive limousine services in order to eliminate the robust competition in Nashville’s transportation market.”
There were four specific provisions in particular that the Plaintiff’s felt were “threatening” enough to put the Plaintiffs and any other affordable limousine and sedan services out of business. These four provisions were:
I. The “minimum fare”; requires that limo and sedan service operators charge a minimum of $45.00 per trip. This was an issue because “minimum fares serve to artificially inflate the cost of limo and sedan service while doing nothing to increase the safety of the service or protect consumers.”
II. “Prohibition on leasing”; requires that limo and sedan service operators hold title to their vehicles, making leasing impossible. The issue with this is the fact that it does nothing to promote health, safety or consumer protection.
III. “Dispatch restriction”; requires that the operators dispatch vehicles only from their place of business. The issue with dispatch restriction is the fact that it complicates passenger pre-arrangement, increases the amount of time that customers will have to wait for service. This will ultimately destroy consumers’ goodwill.
IV. “Vehicle age requirement”; requires that operators take all sedans and sport utility vehicles out of service after being seven years old and limos out of service after ten. This was a big concern because this regulation exempted classic and vintage vehicles. The argument here is the fact that vintage vehicles actually have less safety features. The only reason why these vehicles were “exempt” is because some of the high-end limo companies have these vehicles in their fleet. These are the companies that helped Metro “craft” these restrictions.
Ultimately, Metro’s Motion to Dismiss will be denied and an appropriate Order will be entered. What do you think about this issue in Nashville? As an affordable livery company, would you feel the same as the three Plaintiff’s did?
Our advice to the Plaintiff’s: stand up for what you believe it right, but make sure you have the proper protection in place. Having reliable livery insurance is crucial if you will be battling it out through a lawsuit. Be sure to grab a free quote from us at Wolpert Insurance, today!