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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 23, 2017 04:03 PM
From: Representative Dom Costa
To: All House members
Subject: Common Carriers Providing Paratransit Services
In the near future I plan to re-introduce legislation (former House Bill 1866 of the 2015-16 Legislative Session) creating a third party requirement for common carriers providing paratransit services to minors living with a handicap or disability.

In 2015, a medical van driver in Allegheny County was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage female whom he was transporting to a treatment center for a voluntary mental health commitment. Under current law, common carriers are required to obtain and review background checks for individuals operating vehicles under their service. However, this recent tragedy indicates that stronger protections are needed for a handicapped minor when their parent or legal guardian is not present during the transportation service.

My proposal requires the presence of a third party in these instances. A health care practitioner, an agent of the county agency, another individual permitted to drive under the common carrier, or an individual approved by the Department of Human Services may serve as a permissible third party.

Please join me in properly protecting this vulnerable group of citizens and avoiding a similar tragedy in the future by co-sponsoring this necessary piece of legislation.

Introduced as HB330