There are a number of rules and regulations that taxi drivers have to adhere to, and if they don’t they could find themselves receiving a fine, their taxi insurance policies becoming void, or in the worst cases even have their licences taken away. This is why the City of York Council have decided to discuss the advertising rules for taxi cabs in York, especially whether they could introduce television screens into their vehicles, and whether they are allowed stickers on their rear windscreens.
Many Hackney carriages in London already have screens fitted in them, which are generally situated behind the driver’s headrest and show adverts to the passenger during their journey. The council’s gambling, licencing and regulatory committee have begun discussing whether to introduce these screens due to a request from taxi drivers in the area. Discussing the screens, licencing manager Lesley Cooke wrote in a report: “This form of digital media technology allows for a number of advertisements to be recorded on to a USB [a data storage device], which is then put into the vehicle or updated via 3G internet. Advertisements have a soundtrack, and officers believe passengers as well as drivers should be able to adjust or mute the sound if required.”
If screens are introduced into York’s taxi cabs then they will have to comply with the council’s existing rules and regulations on taxi advertisements, such as making sure that the screens are not “visually intrusive or dazzling”, that they don’t block the passengers’ view of the meter, and that the only “live” footage they are allowed to show will be news and weather programmes. The council have also been discussing the rules concerning stickers being applied to the rear windscreen of taxi cabs, especially as they feel that some taxi drivers are confused by the current regulations.
One taxi driver reportedly asked if he could have a sticker that covered the entirety of his rear windscreen as a form of advertising, prompting the council to propose changing the rules so that they either state that window advertisements on taxis is completely banned, or that only one sticker can be applied with restrictions concerning its size and placement.