Anti-Assault and Hearing Loop Decals

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Effective Date: 
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Download Copy of Adopted Rule (.pdf): 

STATEMENT OF BASIS AND PURPOSE OF RULES

The TLC is amending its rules regarding new markings related to protecting licensed drivers and assisting passengers who are hard of hearing.

Protecting Licensed Drivers

On October 22, 2014, the City Council passed Local Law 55 of 2014, otherwise known as the Driver Protection Act, which requires that signs be placed in the rear compartments of taxicabs and for hire-vehicles regarding penalties for assaulting drivers. This law is designed to combat the unfortunate reality that driving a taxi or livery vehicle can be dangerous work. Mayor de Blasio signed the bill on November 5, 2014, and it will go into effect on May 4, 2015.

To comply with this law, the TLC is proposing a rule that would require all licensed vehicles, except for black car drivers and luxury limousines, to display a mandatory “Taxi and Livery Driver Protection” sticker in each of its rear passenger compartments.  The sticker will inform passengers that assaulting a driver is punishable by up to 25years in prison.

This initiative is similar to the effort to protect Metropolitan Transportation Authority subway and bus drivers through signs throughout the mass transit system. The TLC’s sticker will both educate the public and emphasize the severity of the penalty for assault.  The TLC expects the warning and consequences displayed on the sticker to reduce violence against drivers.

Assisting Passengers Who Are Hard of Hearing

A Hearing Induction Loop is a device that transmits sound directly to hearing aids equipped with a “T-coil” (a small copper wire located inside the hearing aid) or cochlear implants. Rather than merely amplifying ambient sound, as most hearing aids do, the Hearing Induction Loop broadcasts the sound directly to the equipped listener. The TLC has worked closely with advocates for people who are hard of hearing and with the Mayor’s Office for Persons with Disabilities (MOPD) to have this technology included in all TLC Official Taxicab Vehicles (OTVs, also known as the Taxi of Tomorrow). Hearing Induction Loops will facilitate communication between the taxi driver and passengers who are hard of hearing.

The proposed rule will require Hearing Induction Loop Decals to be displayed in OTVs, and other TLC-licensed vehicles with Hearing Induction Loop capability. The decals will make passengers who are hard of hearing aware that all OTVs are equipped with a Hearing Induction Loop.

The decal design meets the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, which states that the symbol must be “the profile of an ear with a wide diagonal line running from the bottom left to the top right. The symbol contrast shall be light on dark or dark on light.” A “T” will be placed in the lower right-hand corner of the decal.

The Commission believes that the cost incurred by the licensees for the sticker and the decals will be minimal.

The Commission’s authority for these rule changes is found in section 2303 of the New York City Charter and section 19-503 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York. 

New material is underlined.

[Material inside brackets indicates deleted material.]