SHL Roof Light Rule

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Effective Date: 
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Download Copy of Adopted Rule (.pdf): 


The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) prohibits street hail liveries (SHLs) from picking up hails in the “exclusionary zone,” which includes Manhattan south of West 110th Street and East 96th Street.  To enforce this requirement, TLC rules require that, among other things, SHL roof lights automatically turn off in the exclusionary zone to indicate to the public that SHLs are not available for street hails. SHL drivers, however, can skirt this requirement because of a design feature in the vehicle technology system. 

Roof lights in SHLs, as well as in yellow taxis, are controlled by the taximeter inside the car, which calculates fares.  When the taximeter is off, the roof light is on, signaling that the driver is on duty and available for a hail; when the taximeter is on, the roof light is off, signaling that the driver is unavailable.  

While the taximeter can be detached from its bracket, in part to protect against theft while off duty, tampering with the taximeter, including detaching it from the bracket while on duty, is prohibited.  However, when the vehicle is in operation and the taximeter is detached, the roof light automatically illuminates. According to complaints made to the TLC, some SHL drivers have detached the taximeter in the Manhattan exclusionary zone to illuminate the roof light and then accepted passengers who mistakenly believe that they are available to make a legal pick up. 

This rule would prevent this type of abuse by requiring that SHL roof lights must be unlighted when the taximeter is detached from the vehicle.

This rule is authorized by Section 2303 of the New York Charter and Section 19-503 of the Administrative Code. 

New material is underlined.

[Material inside brackets indicates deleted material.]