Ontario bill wants to change laws for leased ride-sharing vehicles

Published: May 30, 2019

Updated: June 3, 2019

Author: Luke Jones

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Ontario lawmakers want to make changes to ride-sharing risk assessment regarding leased vehicles. Specifically, the province is seeking to limit the financial risk on firms that lease vehicles to drivers who use them for ride-sharing with Uber or other companies.

Under the current version of the Insurance Act, there are limits in place on the lessors’ liability, but there is no accommodation for ride-sharing companies. Speaking to Canadian Underwriter, a Ontario finance department spokesperson said the current laws means a company that leases vehicles to a ride-sharing service could be in the hook after a collision.

That’s because vicarious liability puts liability onto the vehicle owners, who can be sued by the collision victim. However, in terms of lessors’, they are the owner even if they played no part in the accident.

Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek proposed a change to the system in Bill 107, which was tabled on May 2.

New wording stating “unless the lessor or lessors of the motor vehicle and the lessee are dealing with each other at arm’s length” will be added to end of that clause on taxis if Bill 107 is passed by the legislature.

This simple claims will “limit the financial risks to limit the financial risks to vehicle financing businesses following a collision involving a leased vehicle where the lessor and the lessee are dealing with each other at arm’s length and the lessor does not know the vehicle is being used for ridesharing services.”

Bill 107 is also called the Getting Ontario Moving Act and also proposes:

  • Higher penalties for motorists who drive too slowly in the left lane
  • Zero blood alcohol/drug limit for driving instructors
  • Removing drivers who use personal pickups from needing to do the mandated annual inspection
  • Allowing companies to apply for vehicle ownership permits, plates and stickers online without having to attend at ServiceOntario