Uber, Lyft face regulation in N.J.

(Jared Wickerham/AP Photo, file)

(Jared Wickerham/AP Photo, file)

New Jersey lawmakers have acknowledged ride-ailing services Uber, Lyft and the like with a measure that legalizes and regulates them.

The Senate and Assembly Monday approved legislature requiring the services to provide $1.5 million in commercial insurance coverage to protect passengers as well as state background checks for drivers.

“It means if you’re in one of these vehicles, and you get into a car accident, you now have protection,” said Assemblyman Joe Lagana, D-Bergen. “You’re also protected or have the peace of mind that the person who’s picking you up and dropping you off has been thoroughly vetted. That our state now plays a role in this person’s background checks.”

Sen. Paul Sarlo says the compromise legislation has been a long time coming.

“Clearly this is an industry that got ahead of the legislature and has gone on for too long unregulated,” he said. “There was a bunch of serious issues concerning driver background checks, making sure they had the proper insurance, to make sure there was parity with limousines and taxicab drivers.”

The legislation deals with all those concerns, said Sarlo, D-Bergen.

And Lagana said he believes lawmakers have created a regulatory framework that will be adopted around the nation.

The measure now will go to Gov. Chris Christie for his consideration.

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