Pedicab Accidents: understanding Safety and Regulation

A pedicab is a human pedal-powered public passenger vehicle used to transport passengers for hire.  Pedicabs if driven correctly can be a safe option because they travel slower than cars and taxis.  However, like bicycles they share the city streets with buses, taxi cabs, and other vehicles and must follow the rules of the road.  However, the open air design of pedicabs offers little protection to their occupants in an accident.

On June 7, 2014 the City of Chicago put in place an ordinance that licenses and regulates the Pedicab Industry.  The Pedicabs Ordinance is Chapter 9-110 of the Municipal Code of Chicago. The Ordinance lists operating requirements and restrictions for operating a pedicab in Chicago.  The Pedicabs Ordinance created two new licenses:  pedicab license and pedicab chauffeur license. Each pedicab vehicle operating in the City of Chicago must be licensed.  A pedicab license is obtained by the owner of the pedicab vehicle and authorizes the pedicab vehicle to operate in the City of Chicago.  A pedicab chauffeur license must be obtained before operating a pedicab in the City of Chicago.

The Ordinance also requires the pedicab be equipped with seatbelts.  Further the Ordinance requires minimum insurance coverage for each pedicab of $50,000.00 for property damage and $100,000.00 for injuries or death to passengers.  Your underinsured motorist coverage may be applicable if the pedicab was motorized or using an electric assist hub.  Some cities have banned motorized pedicabs but the Chicago Ordinance is silent on the issue.

If you are a driver or passenger injured in an accident, we at Mitchell, Hoffman and Wolf can help. If you are ever involved in a pedicab accident, make sure to document as much about the accident as you can. Taking photos of the accident scene, even with a cell phone camera, can be very helpful in building your case. Write down the license number of the pedicab along with all other identifying information about the pedicab company.