New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Continues Unannounced Inspections of Commercial Autobuses ("Jitneys") for Compliance with "Angelie's Law"
NEWARK – In August, New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs investigators, working with the New Jersey State Police, the North Bergen Police Department, and the Hudson County Office of Consumer Affairs conducted unannounced inspections of commercial autobuses to check for public notices required under "Angelie's Law."
The agencies inspected 22 commercial autobuses along Bergenline Avenue near James J. Braddock/Hudson County Park. Fifteen of the vehicles were in compliance with Angelie's Law. The owners of the seven non-compliant vehicles were issued Notices of Violation that carry civil fines.
Autobuses operating on public roads and carrying up to 40 passengers must have interior and exterior notices directing passengers to report service complaints to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. The Division's telephone number also must be provided. These notices are required under Angelie's Law, a state law enacted in memory of Angelie Paredes, who was killed in July 2013 in connection with an accident caused by an autobus driver who was using his cell phone while driving.
"Our goal is to have 100% compliance with Angelie's Law and we will continue to work with consumer and law enforcement agencies to achieve this goal," Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said.
"Angelie's Law is designed to protect the safety of riders and also the general public," said Steve Lee, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. "Autobuses must comply with this law and inform the public on how to report service and safety complaints to the Division of Consumer Affairs."
The seven autobus owners who received a Notice of Violation and the town where each business is based are as follows:
- Zenia M. Giralt-Cebrian, LLC - Jersey City
- Universe Transportation Corp. - North Bergen
- K&T Express, Inc. - Fairview
- Juan A. Fernandez-Cosme - Flushing, New York
- Juan F. Paulino-Castro - Union City
- Jaime Solis - Union City
- Domingo Dotel - Jersey City
Each company was cited for one non-compliant vehicle and issued a Notice of Violation imposing a $1,000 civil penalty and requiring a reimbursement of $176.87 for the State's investigative costs.
In February 2015, the Division of Consumer Affairs issued a consumer alert about the public notice requirement of Angelie's Law and also mailed an advisory letter about the public notice requirement to commercial autobus owners.
Investigators Roger Hines, Oscar Mejia, Jessica Lugo, Luis Zuniga and Brittany Kieran, under the direction of Team Leader Murat Botas, in the Office of Consumer Protection in the Division of Consumer Affairs, conducted the vehicle inspections.
Chief Investigator Steve Krywinski and Investigator Linda Kennedy of the Hudson County Office of Consumer Affairs and the New Jersey State Police Motor Compliance Unit also participated in the inspections.
Deputy Attorneys General Cathleen O'Donnell, Jeffrey Koziar, and Assistant Section Chief Patricia Schiripo in the Division of Law's Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section, are representing the State in these matters.
To learn more about Angelie's Law, go to http://njconsumeraffairs.gov/angelieslaw/.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse,
can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting
its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.
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