Yes, you read that headline correct. Because of weekend travel by Gov. Phil Murphy and Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, Senate President Nick Scutari, D-22nd District, became acting governor and got to use the office’s powerful pen to sign legislation allowing alcohol consumption in pedicabs.
The legislation, Senate Bill 1505/Assembly Bill 462, was signed during a Saturday event at Robinson Ale House in Asbury Park.
“Pedicabs offer the opportunity to create a new business sector that will breathe added life into local economies,” said acting Gov. Scutari. “This will give pedicab operators every chance to succeed under a safe, well-regulated environment.”
The law, which was sponsored by Sens. Vin Gopal, D-11th District, and Linda Greenstein, D-14th District, and by Assembly members Joe Danielson, D-177th District, and Clinton Calabrese, D-36th District, allows alcoholic beverages on a pedicab, limited to single-serving, sealed containers of: beer; wine; hard cider; mead; malt beverages, such as hard seltzer and hard tea; and prepared mixed beverages made with spirits.
As Acting Governor, I signed S-1505/A-462 into law! The law will regulate the operation of pedicabs & permit the consumption of alcoholic beverages in pedicabs. pic.twitter.com/exyRZxeHAJ
— Senate President Nick Scutari (@SenPresScutari) June 4, 2022
“This new law will allow our local small businesses such as pedicabs to compete and continue to prosper within the hospitality industry,” said Gopal. “Pedicabs are mom-and-pop small businesses and our support for this growing small-business sector is important.”
New Jersey law previously prohibited passengers to drink alcohol while riding in pedicabs. Under the new law, pedicab operators will not be allowed to consume or sell alcoholic beverages while operating the vehicle. Each passenger will be required to be 21 years old.
The pedicabs will also be able to operate under the following conditions:
- The pedicab has been authorized to operate by ordinance of its municipality
- The operator must be 21 years old and possess a driver’s license
- The vehicle must be equipped with seatbelts, brakes, reflectors, headlights and grab rails
- The operator of the pedicab cannot drive on roadways with speed limits in excess of 30 miles per hour
“As our economy continues to recover from the pandemic, it’s critical to give small business owners like pedicab operators every opportunity to grow their businesses and succeed,” said Danielson. “This new law will provide much needed guidance for their operations to protect both the driver and passengers.”
Under the new law, a “pedicab” is defined as a wheeled device that contains three or more wheels, operating manually with pedals, transporting passengers for hire, and accommodating no more than 15 passengers.
New Jersey joins California, North Carolina, and Louisiana as those that allow alcohol on board pedicabs.