.15 Taxicabs and Equipment.

A. Identification of Taxicab.

(1) Every company, partnership, association, or individual operating one or more taxicabs under permit of this Commission shall have the full name of the owner of each taxicab for which a permit has been issued permanently painted on one door of each side of the taxicab in letters at least 2-1/2 inches high. The work "Taxicab", "Taxi", or "Cab" shall also appear conspicuously on the vehicle. Every company, partnership, association, or individual operating five or more taxicabs under permit of this Commission shall adopt and employ a distinctive color scheme or insignia which shall be registered with the Commission. An owner of a taxicab may not paint his vehicle or vehicles to so closely resemble the distinctive color scheme of insignia of other taxicabs as to mislead the public as to the identity of the owner.

(2) The number assigned by the Commission by which a taxicab is identified shall also be prominently displayed both inside and outside (on each side) in numerals at least 4 inches high.

(3) It shall be the obligation of an owner when withdrawing a taxicab from service to obliterate all markings identifying the vehicle as a taxicab.

B. Type of Vehicle to be Used. Every vehicle used as a taxicab for which a permit is issued or renewed shall be a four-door sedan type, approved by the Commission.

C. Physical and Mechanical Condition. All taxicabs operating under the Commission's permits shall at all times be kept in proper physical and mechanical condition to render safe, adequate, and convenient public service. Failure to keep a taxicab in proper condition shall be sufficient ground for the revocation or suspension of the permit. Every taxicab shall be equipped with a suitable set of approved chains or snow tread tires for the driving wheels, which shall be used whenever there is snow or ice on the streets. Owners shall also comply with any City or county ordinance prescribing the use of chains or snow tires.

D. Vehicle Replacements.

(1) A motor vehicle that is:

(a) 10 model years old or older may not be used as a taxicab; or

(b) 8 model years old or older may not be placed in service as a taxicab for the first time.

(2) Except as provided in §D(3) of this regulation, an owner may not continue to use a motor vehicle that is 6 model years old or older.

(3) Extension.

(a) An owner may apply be granted, on an annual basis, a 1-year extension for the continued use of a motor vehicle that is 6 model years old or older.

(b) If a 6 model year old or older motor vehicle used as a taxicab has been placed out-of-service two or more times in the past 24 months, an extension under §D(3)(a) of this regulation may not be granted.

(4) A motor vehicle that is 6 model years old, when first placed in service as a taxicab, may not continue to be used as a taxicab if the motor vehicle has been placed out-of-service two times.

(5) An owner whose motor vehicle is subject to §D(4) of this regulation shall remove the motor vehicle from taxicab service within 45 days of the receipt of a second out-of-service violation.

E. Repealed.

F. Prohibited Equipment. Radio other than that used for two-way communications, commercial advertising, except as permitted by the Commission, and all other equipment which is not, in the opinion of the Commission, reasonably useful in the furnishing of safe, adequate, and convenient taxicab service, is prohibited in or on taxicabs.

G. Lights. In addition to the outside lights prescribed by law, every taxicab operating under permit of this Commission shall be equipped with a dome light within the passenger compartment of the vehicle, capable of being lighted or extinguished by a manually controlled switch or by operation of the doors.

H. Taximeter.

(1) Except when not required by law, all taxicabs operating under permit of the Commission shall be equipped with a taximeter of a make, and design satisfactory to the Commission. A person may not operate a taxicab, or permit one to be operated, unless the taximeter has been first inspected, tested, approved, and sealed by a representative of the Commission. A person may not operate, or permit to be operated, a taxicab equipped with a taximeter not having its case sealed and the cover and gear intact. Taximeters shall be used exclusively as a means of computing charges for service rendered, except when a fixed charge, calculated on a mileage basis, may be approved by the Commission.

(2) Periodic tests of taximeters will be made by representatives of the Commission. The interval between tests may not exceed 6 months, unless exceptional circumstances, in the discretion of the Commission, require variation from that interval. A meter with an error in registration not exceeding 3 percent will be considered correct.

(3) Except as otherwise specified, the requirements for approval, and methods of testing, of taximeters shall conform to "Specifications and Tolerances of Taximeters" as set out in the National Bureau of Standards Handbook.

(4) Multiple tariff meters may not be used.

(5) Taximeters shall be mounted and connected to the transmission or speedometer cable in an approved manner. In the case of dashboard mounting, the meter shall be located so as not to obscure the vision of the operator or offer an undue hazard to passengers. The meter registration shall be clearly visible to the passenger at all times.

I. Mirror. Every taxicab shall be equipped with a rear view mirror located and adjusted to give the driver a clear reflected view of the highway directly to the rear of a line parallel with the left side of the body of the taxicab.

J. Sanitary Condition. Every taxicab shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition at all times.

K. Inspection.

(1) At the direction of the Commission, an owner of a motor vehicle subject to the provisions of §B(4)(a) of this regulation shall present the motor vehicle for inspection by a Commission representative.

(2) Upon presenting proper identification, the Commission or its representative may enter a motor vehicle for the purpose of inspecting the vehicle, vehicle equipment, or records of the carrier.

(3) A representative of the Commission, after inspection and a determination that a motor vehicle does not comply with the requirements of this chapter, may require:

(a) The repair or replacement of the motor vehicle;

(b) That the motor vehicle be removed from service pending the repair or replacement; or

(c) That an owner of a taxicab, which has been removed from service for repair, provide evidence of the repair.

(4) The Commission may require an owner of a taxicab to provide an inspection certificate from a facility licensed by the State to perform motor vehicle inspections.

L. Number of Passengers. A taxicab may not carry more than the number designated on the permit card. A child in arms may not be counted as a passenger. More than one person may not occupy the front seat with the operator.

M. Group Riding.

(1) Cabs may be used to serve jointly from railroad stations or other public places of special assembly not more than four passengers who are bound for the same, or approximately the same, location, provided that a passenger who has engaged a cab may not be compelled to share the vehicle with others if unwilling to do so. Drivers may not refuse service in order to effect more profitable grouping.

(2) When a cab is occupied by more than one passenger bound for different destinations, each passenger or party, as the case may be, shall be charged the fare recorded on the meter or the applicable fare at the time of arrival at their destination, except that a party or individual passenger may not be charged more than the fare applicable at the established rates for transportation over the shortest and most direct route. Solicitation of others while enroute to the destination of passengers or parties initially occupying the cab is prohibited.

N. Transportation of Railroad Train Crews. It shall be permissible for taxicabs to transport railroad train crews in units of five men when moving to and from railroad yards, provided each member of the crew so transported shall carry some satisfactory form of identification.

O. Commodity Deliveries. Deliveries of express packages or small parcels is permissible, but not to the exclusion of passengers, and only if controlled through a taxicab organization's dispatching facilities.

P. Withdrawals From Service. It shall be unlawful for any person or persons, association, or corporation engaged in the operation of one or more taxicabs to withdraw a taxicab from the public service without having approval of the Commission, unless the withdrawal is rendered necessary by accident, or other causes beyond the control of the owner.

Q. Reckless or Unsafe Operation.

(1) The driver of a taxicab may not operate it recklessly, in an unsafe manner, or in disregard of the public general or local laws or municipal ordinances governing the operation of motor vehicles.

(2) Placards or other obstructions may not be attached to any windshield or windows which would obstruct the view of the driver.