Georgia Lawmakers Approve Ridesharing Regulations

Published March 5, 2015

Georgia lawmakers recently voted to approve increase insurance regulations on ridesharing companies like Lyft and Uber, saying regulating the “sharing economy” services as though they were traditional taxicab services was necessary to protect consumer safety.

The Georgia House of Representatives voted 141-26 to approve House Bill 190, a bill proposed by State Rep. Rick Golick (R-Smyrna) requiring ridesharing drivers to obtain “a commercial motor vehicle insurance policy purchased by the transportation network company or the driver that provides coverage” of at least $300,000 in private insurance.¬†

House Bill 190 is one of several active regulatory bills targeting Uber’s operation in the state, including one sponsored by State Rep. Alan Powell (R-Hartwell). Powell is the sponsor of House Bill 224, which would force Uber drivers to purchase expensive taxi licenses, or “medallions,” from local taxicab regulatory boards.

Georgia Public Policy Foundation president Kelly McCutchen says the current wave of regulatory bills are protecting incumbent businesses at the expense of new innovations like Uber.

“The challenge, always, when you have incumbent providers and new innovative companies is to make sure that, when you’re leveling the playing field, you’ve leveled the playing down, instead of up,” he said.

Instead of increasing regulatory burdens on ridesharing companies, McCutchen says regulations should be removed.

“Let’s not put all these incumbent regulations on the new providers, and let’s make it as market-friendly as possible.

“That’s what we’re trying to make sure happens,” he said.

Jesse Hathaway ([email protected]) is managing editor of Budget & Tax News.

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