Print Print
  • Acts
  • 1998
  • Chapter 302 AN ACT PROVIDING FOR REGISTRATION OF BICYCLE MESSENGER SERVICES AND LICENSING OF COMMERCIAL MESSENGERS IN THE CITY OF BOSTON.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:


SECTION 1. The purpose of this act shall be to establish a mechanism for registering commercial bicycle messenger services and licensing commercial messengers as a traffic safety control measure in the city of Boston, notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary.

SECTION 2. For the purposes of this act, the following terms shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

"Commercial bicycle messenger", a person compensated for using a bicycle to carry or transport an article over the public ways in the city of Boston. Nothing in this act shall be construed to apply to a person under the age of 17 who uses a bicycle to deliver daily newspapers or circulars.

"Commercial bicycle messenger identification device", a lightweight, numbered reflective device to be visibly displayed on the back or back pack of the bicycle messenger of such material, form, design, and dimension as the commissioner shall prescribe by regulation.

"Commercial bicycle messenger license", a numbered permit issued by the commissioner which include, but not be limited to, the name, residential address, telephone number and date of birth of the applicant.

"Commercial bicycle messenger license plate", a numbered reflective plate to be visibly displayed on the back of the bicycle attached to the rear of the bicycle seat made of such material, form, design, and dimension as the commissioner shall prescribe by regulation.

"Commercial bicycle messenger service", an individual, firm, association, corporation, partnership or joint venture, including independent contractors who are not affiliated with an organized commercial bicycle messenger service, doing business in the city of Boston and whose business is the local pick-up, transport and delivery of small packages including, but not limited to, letters, documents or other articles, including food, by bicycle on behalf of a commercial, industrial, governmental, charitable or other enterprise.

"Commissioner", commissioner of the Boston police department.

"Registration", registration issued by the commissioner to a commercial bicycle messenger service.

"Year", the calendar year.

SECTION 3. All commercial bicycle messenger service shall register with the commissioner. A registration form shall be approved by the commissioner and shall include, in addition to other information deemed necessary by said commissioner, the following:

1) the name, address and telephone number of the commercial bicycle messenger service;

2) the name and principal residential address of the owner of the commercial bicycle messenger service;

3) the name, address and telephone number of a person authorized to receive notices issued pursuant to this act; and

4) a statement indicating the number of licensed commercial bicycle messengers employed or utilized by the service at the time of the registration, including the name, telephone number and address of each such messenger.

A corporate applicant for a registration shall be organized and qualified to do business under the laws of the commonwealth of Massachusetts.

SECTION 4. As a condition of registration, a commercial bicycle messenger service shall:

1) employ or utilize only licensed commercial bicycle messengers;

2) keep available for inspection by the commissioner, or a designee thereof, an updated list of licensed commercial bicycle messengers employed or engaged by the service;

3) deliver an updated list of bicycle messengers utilized or employed to the Boston Police Department licensing division on the first day of each month; and

4) Instruct licensed commercial bicycle messengers in safe bicycling techniques in accordance with section 11B of chapter 85 of the General Laws, and established principles of safe bicycle riding, and document the same.

The registration fee payable by a commercial bicycle messenger service shall be $25 and shall be valid for a one-year period. It shall be the responsibility of a commercial bicycle messenger service to renew its registration. The fee for such renewal shall be $25.

A commercial bicycle messenger service shall be subject to a fine of $100 per day for each violation of the conditions of registration provided in this section.

SECTION 5. A commercial bicycle messenger who operates a bicycle on a public way in the city of Boston shall apply to the commissioner for a commercial bicycle messenger license, a commercial bicycle messenger identification device and a commercial bicycle messenger license plate.

The commercial bicycle messenger license application form shall include, in addition to other information deemed necessary by the commissioner, the following:

1) the applicant's name, principal residential address, telephone number, date of birth and name and address of the company employing or engaging the applicant's services;

2) a statement that the applicant is aware of all traffic rules and regulations with respect to vehicular travel and with respect to the safety and the rights of pedestrians; and

3) acceptable forms of identification in addition to any information required by the commissioner.

A license issued pursuant to the provisions of section 6 shall be carried by the bicycle messenger on his person at all times while in the performance of his duties as a bicycle messenger and shall be presented when requested by a police officer or if involved in an accident or if requested by an employee of a business or by the manager or his designee of a public or commercial building in which such messenger seeks or has gained entry while in the performance of his duties as a bicycle messenger.

SECTION 6. The commissioner may approve the application and issue the applicant a commercial bicycle messenger license and a commercial bicycle messenger identification device and license plate within three working days of receipt of the application.

SECTION 7. A commercial bicycle messenger shall prominently display a commercial bicycle messenger license plate issued by the Boston police department at the rear of the bicycle seat when employed or utilized as a commercial bicycle messenger.

Additionally, a commercial bicycle messenger, when upon a bicycle, shall properly wear a bicycle safety helmet in compliance with section 11B of chapter 85 of the General Laws.

SECTION 8. The application fee for a commercial bicycle messenger license and commercial bicycle messenger identification device and license plate shall be $25 and shall be valid for a one-year period. It shall be the responsibility of the commercial bicycle messenger to renew the commercial bicycle messenger license, identification device and license plate. The renewal fee therefor shall be $25. A change in affiliation or employment with a commercial bicycle messenger service shall be cause for renewal; provided, however, there shall be no cost of renewal due to a change in affiliation within the one-year license period.

SECTION 9. A commercial bicycle messenger shall be subject to a fine for failing to carry a commercial bicycle messenger license when employed or utilized as a commercial bicycle messenger. Such fine shall be $100 for a first offense, $150 for a second offense and up to $300 for a third or subsequent offense within the period of one year.

SECTION 10. A commercial bicycle messenger shall be subject to a fine for failure to wear, or wear properly, a helmet as provided under section 8, and for failure to properly display a commercial bicycle messenger identification device and license plate in compliance with the provisions section 7. Such fine shall be $100 for a first offense, $150 for a second offense and up to $300 for a third or subsequent offense within the period of one year.

SECTION 11. The commissioner may, in his discretion, deny, suspend, or revoke a commercial bicycle messenger license issued pursuant to section 5 or 6 for cause. A commercial bicycle messenger may request a hearing to appeal any such denial, suspension or revocation of a commercial bicycle messenger license.

SECTION 12. The commissioner may promulgate rules and regulations necessary or desirable for the administration of this act.

SECTION 13. Each commercial bicycle messenger service registering or renewing its registration shall provide proof that the service and each commercial bicycle messenger utilized or employed by such service has insurance coverage in the following minimum amounts:

1) $50,000 for property damages;

2) $50,000 for injuries or death of any one person; and

3) $100,000 for injuries to or death of more than one person in any one accident.

Workers' compensation coverage shall be provided as required by law.

An insurance policy required by this section shall be in a form satisfactory to the commissioner and shall provide that the policy shall not be canceled and the amount of the coverage shall not be changed unless 60 days prior written notice shall be given to the commissioner.

SECTION 14. This act shall take effect 120 days following its enactment.

SECTION 15. The provisions of this act shall be subject to the provisions of section 11C of chapter 85 of the General Laws.

Approved August 14, 1998.