DFHV recently passed a second emergency rulemaking that affects DC taxi drivers and vehicle owners. As of October 19, all DC taxis will need to have a safety partition between the front and rear seats of the vehicle. The safety partitions are intended to keep both drivers and passengers safe by helping to minimize the spread of infectious disease. The requirements for the safety partitions are in the rulemaking which will remain in effect through May 15, 2021.
The full text of the Emergency Rulemaking is below
NOTICE OF SECOND EMERGENCY RULEMAKING
The Director of the Department of For-Hire Vehicles, pursuant to the authority set forth in Sections 8(c)(3), (4), and (19) of the Department of For-Hire Vehicles Establishment Act of 1985, effective March 25, 1986 (D.C. Law 6-97; D.C. Official Code §§ 50-301.07 (c)(3), (4), and (19) (2014 Repl. & 2019 Supp.)), and in furtherance of the District of Columbia’s response to the public emergency and public health emergency originally declared by Mayor’s Order 2020-45, dated March 11, 2020, and Mayor’s Order 2020-46, dated March 11, 2020, Mayor’s Order 2020-79, dated July 24, 2020, Mayor’s Order 2020-103, dated October 7, 2020, and Mayor’s Order 2020-127, dated December 18, 2020, hereby gives notice of the emergency amendments to Chapter 6 (Taxicab Parts and Equipment) of Title 31 (Taxicabs and Public Vehicles For Hire) of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR).
This second emergency rulemaking amends Chapter 6 to allow the Department of For-Hire Vehicles (“Department”) to reinstate the requirement of a safety partition in taxicabs to minimize the spread of infectious disease, particularly COVID-19, which necessitated a global pandemic and public health emergency. This emergency rulemaking is necessary to protect the health, safety, and well-being of taxicab drivers and passengers in the District of Columbia.
Due to the continuing public health emergency, the Department has determined that it is necessary to extend the emergency rulemaking. This first Notice of Emergency Rulemaking was published in the D.C. Register on September 18, 2020 at 67 DCR 11145 and expired on January 8, 2021. The renewal of this emergency rulemaking was adopted on January 15, 2021, took effect immediately, and will remain in effect for one hundred twenty (120) days after the date of its adoption (expiring May 15, 2021) unless earlier superseded by an amendment or repeal by the Department.
Chapter 6, TAXICAB PARTS AND EQUIPMENT, of Title 31 DCMR, TAXICABS AND PUBLIC VEHICLES FOR HIRE, is amended as follows:
Section 601, TAXICAB VEHICLE PARTITION, is amended as follows:
Subsection 601.9 is amended to read as follows:
601.9 Effective October 19, 2020, each taxicab shall be equipped with a safety partition between the front and rear seats for the purpose of minimizing the spread of infectious diseases. The partition may be temporary or permanent and can be hard or flexible. The partition shall be installed so that it:
(a) Does not obstruct the vision of the driver to the rear or the vision of the passengers to the meter;
(b) Includes an opening that allows the driver and passenger to transact payment and receipt exchange;
(c) Does not impede entering into and exiting from the taxicab;
(d) Is not a hazard to passengers in the rear seat in case of an accident;
(e) Provides coverage between the front and rear seats with gaps no larger than four (4) inches at the edges;
(f) Can be easily cleaned;
(g) Can withstand air flow if the windows are open while the vehicle is in motion;
(h) Does not hinder passenger access to use of the passenger console, if applicable; and
(i) Meets all standards that the Department may issue in an administrative issuance.
Copies of this emergency rulemaking can be obtained at www.dcregs.dc.gov or by contacting the Department of For-Hire Vehicles, 2235 Shannon Place, S.E., Suite 3001, Washington, D.C. 20020.