July 12, 2017, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) proposed a change to the age requirement for drivers of paratransit vehicles, in order to more closely match current guidelines from the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and reduce operational and hiring challenges for ambulance and paratransit companies across the state.
The Proposed Rulemaking Order was approved 5-0 by the Commission on July 12, allowing paratransit vehicles to be operated by trained and certified ambulance drivers who are 18 years or older – initiating a written comment period and review by relevant agencies.
Currently, PUC regulations for paratransit services require drivers to be at least 21 years old, while DOH rules allow drivers 18 years or older to operate ambulances if they have proper training and certification. In proposing the change in PUC regulations, the Commissioners noted that many of the state’s ambulance companies also provide paratransit services, and the differences in age requirements currently prevent some trained ambulance drivers from being able to operate paratransit vehicles – complicating operations for those organizations.
The proposed change established the following conditions for paratransit drivers who are under the age of 21:
- Drivers 18 years or older must be certified as an Emergency Medical Service Vehicle Operator (EMSVO) by the DOH.
- Drivers must carry their DOH-issued EMSVO certification on board, while operating a paratransit vehicle.
- Paratransit carriers must comply with all DOH regulations and maintain records for a period of four years to prove each person’s EMSVO certification.
- These records must be available for inspection by Commission Staff, upon request.
- Paratransit carriers must notify the PUC of any accident involving a paratransit driver who is under 21 years of age, regardless of the severity of the accident.
The Proposed Rulemaking Order will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and written comments should be submitted within 30 days of that publication. All comments must reference Docket No. L-2017-2600599.
To learn how Prince Law Offices, P.C. can assist you or your business with transportation law and PUC matters, contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.
As part of an ongoing effort to address changes in the transportation industry, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today encouraged concerned parties to submit comments regarding proposed changes to the Commission’s regulations governing the motor carrier industry.
The comments submitted in response to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be used in the PUC’s reexamination of motor carrier regulations, including businesses that transport passengers, property and household goods – as part of an effort to ensure that the transportation industry in Pennsylvania operates safely and also continues to innovate. In recent years, the oversight of these industries has evolved, in response to changes in federal law as well as market forces.
Possible topics for comment include:
- The regulation of property carriers.
- The regulation of group and party carriers.
- Insurance requirements.
- Safety requirements.
- Fuel surcharges.
- Fines and assessments.
- The granting of provisional authority.
- Web-based training for new and current carriers.
- Various Commission General Orders, Policy Statements and guidelines for transportation utilities.
- Any other specific considerations.
The comments should be submitted within 60 days of the publication of the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
Comments should include references to sections of the Commission’s current regulations. They should also provide a rationale for the proposed change and include specific proposed language for changes to the regulations. Reference Docket No. L-2017-2604692. Rulemaking for Title 52 – Regulation of Motor Carriers of Passengers and Property.
Previously, the Commission approved updated regulations intended to reduce barriers for passenger carriers and moving companies.
To learn how Prince Law Offices, P.C. can assist you or your business with energy, real estate, transportation or other PUC matters including preparation and filing of comments, contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.