Chapter 4.5. For-hire Vessels of California Public Utilities Code >> Division 2. >> Chapter 4.5.
As used in this chapter, "for-hire vessel operator" means any
person owning, controlling, operating, or managing a for-hire vessel
for the transportation of persons for compensation in this state,
except a common carrier by vessel as defined in subdivision (b) of
Section 211. Nothing in this section shall exempt those common
carriers by vessel excepted from this section from any insurance
requirements required by the commission for common carriers as
defined in subdivision (b) of Section 211.
As used in this chapter, "for-hire vessel" includes any
vessel, by whatsoever power operated, carrying passengers for hire,
except a seaplane on the water and vessels exempt from taxation under
Section 3 of Article XIII of the California Constitution.
As used in this chapter, "person" means any individual, firm,
partnership, private, municipal or public corporation, limited
liability company, company, association, joint stock association,
trustee, receiver, assignee, or other similar representative.
The Public Utilities Commission shall require every for-hire
vessel operator to procure, and continue in effect so long as the
for-hire vessel operator continues to offer his services for
compensation, adequate protection against liability imposed by law
upon a for-hire vessel operator for the payment of damages for
personal bodily injuries, including death resulting therefrom, and
property damage as a result of an accident.
The commission shall, after a public hearing, set the amount
of liability insurance, required by Section 4663, which is reasonably
necessary to provide adequate compensation for damage incurred
through an accident involving a for-hire vessel operator.
The protection required under Section 4663 shall be evidenced
either by the deposit with the commission, covering each vessel used
or to be used in for-hire vessel operations for compensation, of:
(a) A policy of insurance, issued by a company licensed to write
such insurance in the state, or by nonadmitted insurers subject to
Section 1763 of the Insurance Code, if such policies meet the rules
promulgated therefor by the commission; or
(b) A bond of a surety company licensed to write surety bonds in
the state; or
(c) Such evidence of the qualification of the for-hire vessel
operator as a self-insurer as may be authorized by the commission.
With the consent of the commission a copy of an insurance
policy, certified by the company issuing it to be a true copy of the
original policy, or a photostatic copy thereof, or an abstract of the
provisions of the policy, or a certificate of insurance issued by
the company issuing the policy, may be filed with the commission in
lieu of the original or a duplicate or counterpart of the policy.
The protection against liability shall be continued in effect
so long as the for-hire vessel operator continues to offer his
services for compensation. The policy of insurance or surety bond
shall not be cancelable on less than thirty (30) days' written notice
to the commission, except in the event of cessation of operations as
a for-hire vessel operator.
The commission may establish such rules as are necessary to
enforce this article.
Any for-hire vessel operator who knowingly refuses or fails
to procure protection against liability, as required by Section 4663,
is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Following an administrative hearing, the commission may
impose a penalty of not less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more than
one thousand dollars ($1,000) upon any for-hire vessel owner or
operator who violates any provision of this article or who fails to
obey, observe, or comply with any rule established by the commission
pursuant to Section 4668. For purposes of this section, Section 4671,
and Section 4672, "owner" means the corporation or person who is
registered as the owner of the vessel or who has a legal right to
operate the vessel pursuant to a lease or rental agreement. For
purposes of this section, Section 4671, and Section 4672, "operator"
means the "for-hire vessel operator" as defined in Section 4660.
(a) Upon filing of the evidence of liability protection
pursuant to Section 4663, the commission shall provide a certificate
of filing to the for-hire vessel owner or operator. The certificate
shall be no larger than 8 1/2 by 11 inches in size. The for-hire
vessel owner or operator shall post the certificate of filing on the
vessel in a prominent location which is visible to the passengers.
(b) No certificate that has been canceled, suspended, or revoked,
or that is not valid shall be posted on a vessel.
Upon receiving notification of impending cancellation of
liability protection pertaining to a for-hire vessel owner or
operator, the commission shall, effective upon the date of the
cancellation, revoke the certificate provided to the owner or
operator pursuant to Section 4671 and shall notify the owner or
operator of this revocation. The owner or operator shall return the
revoked certificate to the commission.