§ 39-18-4.1. Health and safety of passengers.
(a) The authority shall have the power to establish reasonable rules of conduct for passengers for the protection of the health and safety of passengers and employees of the authority. The rules shall incorporate the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and § 28-5.1-7, chapter 28 of title 11 and chapter 87 of title 42 and be promulgated in accordance with the provisions of chapter 35 of title 42.
(b) All controversies arising out of application of any provision of this section shall be determined by the general manager or his or her designated hearing officer, who shall afford a hearing to the passenger and/or his or her parent or guardian, and, after hearing, shall render a written decision. The decision of the general manager or hearing officer shall be final except that the passenger aggrieved by the decision shall have a right of appeal to the superior court, which shall affirm the decision unless it is clearly erroneous or contrary to law. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 35 of title 42.
(c) Notice shall be provided to the RIde funding agency or agencies for any hearing regarding their client/passengers on RIde vehicles. A representative of the RIde funding agency or agencies may attend the hearing. The general manager or hearing officer will consider the recommendation of the RIde funding agency's representative in rendering his/her decision.
(d) The decision of the general manager or hearing officer may include:
(1) Refusing to transport a person whose violation of the rules of the authority threatens the health and safety of passengers or employees of the authority, for a period not to exceed six (6) months; and/or
(2) Revoking a passenger's ticket, pass, or other fare medium, regardless of the number of trips or time period for which the ticket, pass, or other fare medium is valid, if the passenger's continued presence on an authority vehicle or at an authority facility threatens the health or safety of the authority's other passengers or employees. The authority shall within a reasonable time after such a revocation, refund to the passenger the unused value of the ticket, pass, or other fare medium.
(e) Nothing under this section precludes any other action permitted by law.
(f) All RIde buses shall be installed with passenger security cameras when federal funds become available for this purpose.
(g) Any person seeking employment as a RIde bus driver shall undergo a criminal background check to be initiated prior to or within one week of employment. All employees hired prior to the enactment of this subsection shall be exempted from its requirements.
(1) The applicant shall apply to the bureau of criminal identification (BCI), department of attorney general, state police or local police department where he or she resides, for a statewide criminal records check. Fingerprinting shall not be required. Upon the discovery of any disqualifying information as defined in § 23-17-37, the bureau of criminal identification of the state police or the local police department will inform the applicant, in writing, of the nature of the disqualifying information; and, without disclosing the nature of the disqualifying information, will notify the employer, in writing, that disqualifying information has been discovered.
(2) An individual against whom disqualifying information has been found may request that a copy of the criminal background report be sent to the employer who shall make a judgment regarding the ability of the individual to drive a RIde bus. In those situations in which no disqualifying information has been found, the bureau of criminal identification, state police or local police department shall inform the applicant and the employer in writing of this fact.
(3) The criminal record check requirements of this section shall apply only to persons seeking to drive RIde buses.
(P.L. 1999, ch. 249, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 241, § 1.)