Downtown Fairbanks, Alaska.
FAIRBANKS, Alaska — The Fairbanks City Council voted 6-0 Monday to pass an ordinance amending the city’s licensing rules for vehicles for hire.
In Fairbanks, drivers of commercial passenger transport vehicles — taxicabs, motorbuses, vans and limousines — are required to have a chauffeur’s license. The ordinance reworks some of the language in Chapter 86 of the general code, removes redundancies and changes the time required to have elapsed before an applicant with a criminal conviction can apply for a license.
An applicant must not have had a felony or misdemeanor conviction for prostitution or the promotion of prostitution; any offense under Alaska Statutes Title 11, Chapter 71, Controlled Substances; burglary, felony larceny, fraud or embezzlement; a felony or misdemeanor which includes as an element the use or threat of force upon a person; any sexual offense; any homicide or assault involving operation of a motor vehicle; or two separate felony convictions of any type within the last eight years. Previously, a waiting period of 10 years was required.
A previous stipulation that any applicant with a felony or misdemeanor conviction for operation or driving a vehicle while intoxicated, or refusal to submit to a chemical test, must wait eight years before being eligible for a chauffeurs’s license was changed to five years.
The new ordinance states an applicant must not be a sex offender or kidnapper subject to the registration requirements of of Title 12, Chapter 63, of the Alaska Statute. The previous wording specified the applicant not be a sex offender or a child kidnapper.
A rule requiring chauffeur’s license holders to attend a defensive driving course within 12 months of receiving their license had not been enforced for several years and was going to be removed from the code. Councilwoman Emily Bratcher questioned that decision and argued for the rule to be reinserted and made even more stringent by requiring the course be taken every two years.
“I don’t think that defensive driving every two years is ridiculous. I think it’s an important public safety requirement,” Bratcher said.
Councilman Chad Roberts argued against a once-every-two-years requirement. “It seems punitive. I don’t know if it’s justified for someone who has no infractions.”.
Councilmen Jim Matherly and Bernard Gatewood agreed with Roberts, and after more discussion, the ordinance was amended to require license holders to take a defensive driving course once, but only once, after receiving their license.
The amount of time that must elapse after a driver of a commercial passenger transport vehicle has had an alcoholic beverage was changed from five hours to eight hours.
A requirment that applicants provide a set of fingerprints was dropped because a criminal background check is already a requirement for receiving a license.
Source: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner