Public Utilities and Carriers

CHAPTER 39-14.1
Public Motor Vehicles

SECTION 39-14.1-1

§ 39-14.1-1. Definitions.

Terms used in this chapter shall be construed as follows, unless another meaning is expressed or is clearly apparent from the language or context:

(1) "Certificate" means a certificate of operating authority issued to a public motor vehicle;

(2) "Charter carrier" means a provider of transportation services to groups such as: lodges, bands, athletic teams, schools, or other travel groups, assembled by someone other than the carrier who collectively contracts for the exclusive use of certain equipment for the duration of a particular trip or tour. Charter carrier services shall also include transportation services provided by employment agencies or employers to individuals in the context of providing transportation to and from their place of employment;

(3) "Common carrier", as used in this chapter, means any person engaging in the business of providing transportation services for compensation to passengers through the use of a public motor vehicle as defined in this chapter;

(4) "Division" means the division of public utilities and carriers;

(5) "Driver" means any person operating a motor vehicle used for the transportation of passengers that he or she owns or is operating with the expressed or implied consent of the owner;

(6) "Person" means and includes any individual, partnership, corporation, or other association of individuals;

(7) "Public motor vehicle" means and includes every motor vehicle for hire, other than a jitney, as defined in § 39-13-1, or a taxicab or limited public motor vehicle, as defined in § 39-14-1, used for transporting members of the general public for compensation in unmarked vehicles at a predetermined or prearranged charge to such points as may be directed by the passenger. All vehicles operated under this chapter shall conform to specifications established by the division. Transportation services provided by charter carriers, as defined in this chapter, or by funeral homes, in association with funeral services, and by ambulance companies shall be exempt from this chapter;

(8) "Unmarked vehicles" means motor vehicles that do not display the transportation company's name, address or telephone number, or any advertisements or commercial information beyond that included by the vehicle's manufacturer on the vehicle's exterior surfaces; provided, however, that public motor vehicles that display markings identifying them as service or courtesy vehicles used by licensed health care facilities, assisted living residences, and adult day care programs, licensed by the Rhode Island department of health, pursuant to chapters 17 and 17.4 of title 23 and § 23-1-52, respectively, shall be permitted to operate with such markings; provided the vehicles are registered to these licensed entities; operated by employees of these licensed entities; and that the service provided with these vehicles, when being used as public motor vehicles, is limited to transportation services provided to passengers receiving transportation services through a program funded by the federal government and/or the state of Rhode Island; provided, further, that public motor vehicles providing transportation services under a program funded by the federal government and/or the state of Rhode Island may display temporary and easily removable markings (e.g. magnetic placards) on their vehicles, for the sole purpose of identifying the vehicles as authorized transportation service vehicles operating in association with the publicly funded program.

(9) "Wheelchair accessible public motor vehicle" means a public motor vehicle designed and equipped to allow the transportation of a person(s) who uses a wheelchair without requiring that person(s) to be removed from the wheelchair, but such public motor vehicle is not restricted to transporting only persons using wheelchairs.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2002, ch. 182, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 163, § 2; P.L. 2007, ch. 266, § 2; P.L. 2012, ch. 312, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 334, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 216, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 233, § 1.)