Alberta’s new ride-sharing laws will come down hard on companies like Uber who may not comply with the regulations, with the province saying it will issue fines of $50,000 per day to rouge companies.
The newly written Bill 16 of the Traffic Safety Amendment Act 2016, has stipulated regulations for Uber drivers and the company to adhere by. The province seems to have mirrored its regulations off other Canadian municipalities, who have drawn up similar laws with mixed results.
For example, drivers operating for ride-sharing companies will need to have commercial class licenses, which means Class 1, 2, or 4, and not the Class 5 license held by normal drivers. Like other municipalities, Albertan Uber operatives will need to have sufficient commercial auto insurance, and in a twist not previous seen, it needs to be coverage that is specifically designed for ride-sharing companies.
Aviva Canada is the only provider with such a policy, which is not available in Alberta yet. The company has said it plans to expand nationwide though.
For Uber’s part, it would have to make its drivers pass police information checks that the province says must be more complete than a normal criminal record check. Vehicle checks are also a part of the new regulations.
Uber has not yet said if it agrees with the rules. In Toronto and Edmonton the company has agreed to new regulations, but in Calgary the ride-sharing firm pulled out of the market entirely. There are two options in Alberta, abide by the law or leave, with huge government imposed fines for the company if it continues to operate illegally.
Transportation Minister Brian Mason said the penalties were set high on purpose.
“So $50,000 per offence, per day, can add up extremely fast,” Mason said. “We think that those are very significant penalties.
“We didn’t want this to just be the cost of doing business, for a company with very deep pockets like Uber.”