The Taxi For Hire Light : Will Uber Circumvent Legislation ?
On the day Uber launch UberPool, a service that former commissioner of TfL, Sir Peter Hendy said would be illegal, they now announce plans to (again) circumvent the Taxi "For Hire" Signage legislation.
Last year, Uber cars were photographed displaying illuminate signage in the front windscreen, in the form of a blue neon U.
Licensing authorities up and down the country ordered Uber to cease and desist, over a number of issues. Not only were they contravening the terms of their licence in regards of displaying an illuminate "For Hire" sign, but also, only certain emergency services are allowed under current law to display blue lights.
See list below:
But now Uber believe they have found a way round the "For Hire" light restriction .
Below is a short article that has just started to appear on line.
Problem: Passengers getting in the wrong car!
Yesterday, Uber announced that it has come up with a solution, something a little easier than scanning the street for license plates.
SPOT helps riders find their drivers by displaying a neon light on the driver’s windshield. Users can simply look at their app, pick what color they want their driver to display, and follow the appropriate green, blue, pink, yellow or whatever color glow.
Actually they haven't learnt from previous experience. As we've said its illegal to display a blue light, but hey, this is Uber...they can do what they like, as TfL, with most of there licensing contraventions, just turn a blind eye.
Below is a letter from Manchester's compliance team, sent when the blue U first materialised in their city:
Dear Mr xxxxx
I am now in a position to update you on the concerns you raised. I am aware that you have recently written to the Executive Member, Cllr Chappell to express concerns that this matter was not being dealt with, I can assure you that this was not the case.
Our initial enquiries into this matter were centred around identifying the device that was installed into private hire vehicles, examining the device and determining its purpose. Uber were then informed of our views and compliance with relevant legislation was requested. Uber have given instructions to all their drivers to remove the illuminated sign from their vehicles. We are now monitoring the situation to ensure compliance.
Senior Compliance Officer
Let's hope that TfL compliance are as quick to respond to this issue, should Uber London decide to equip it's vehicles with for hire lights in the capital.
Let's also hope our representative orgs take a preemptive approach to this rather than wait till its becomes an established practise.