MCOA Membership: Action Needed
MCOA strongly supports this bill. We hope all members ask their legislators to support by becoming a co-sponsor. The explanation below provides the talking points you will need to pass H1348. This interpretation by an insurance carrier could/will impact transportation services within your community and across the state. Ask your legislator to sign on by contacting the Co-sponsors Rep Berthiaume or Senator Gobi; and ask the Judiciary Committee to release the bill with a favorable recommendation.
Action Needed before the holidays!
David P. Stevens
Massachusetts Councils on Aging
To All Concerned:
I write to draw attention to, and support for House Bill 1348, relative to the “Expansion of the Good Samaritan Law”.
The Bill was filed by Representative Donald R. Berthiaume, Jr. on behalf of the Barre Council on Aging and co-sponsored by Senator Anne M. Gobi and twenty seven other legislators. The Bill was referred to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, and support for the Bill was presented at a hearing before the Committee on 09/24/2019. The Bill remains before the Committee.
The need for such an expansion of the law was created when our town insurance carrier deemed our Friendly (volunteer) Driver program had the potential of too much liability for the town, and the town administrator advised the senior center director to cease the operation. We now have no volunteer drivers.
Good Samaritan Laws are available to protect from legal liability: donors of food, anyone rendering care to accident or crime victims, or to anyone in need of emergency medical assistance. Volunteer drivers deserve the same legal protection.
Transportation is a quality of life issue. Those of us living in rural areas do not have public transportation available, and many of our elders do not have driving privileges. Anyone without available transportation to shopping, medical appointments, religious services, family visits, social activities, etc., will have their quality of life suffer severely. This Bill will prevent that.
Government agencies at every level realize the impact that transportation has on the lives of their constituents, and are constantly looking at ways for improvement. Unfortunately, most solutions require more public funds. This Bill will address the problem with NO PUBLIC FUNDS.
Please encourage your legislators to support HOUSE BILL 1348.
Joint Committee on the Judiciary