§ 118.39  CONDITION AND APPEARANCE OF VEHICLES.
   (A)   It shall be the responsibility of the owner of each taxicab company and the lessees of the taxicabs to keep the vehicles in operable condition according to the State Motor Vehicle Inspection Laws.  In addition to the annual inspection required by the state, a midyear, second inspection of taxicabs is to be made in the sixth month following the required state inspection.  All inspections are to be done at New Hampshire registered inspection stations and shall include all the physical properties of each taxicab and the adherence to the rules of this section. A checklist will be supplied to the inspection station by the office of the City Clerk upon notice given to the City Clerk as to the date, time, and place that the inspection will occur.  The office of the City Clerk may assign a representative or designate a police officer to ensure that the inspection is completed at a New Hampshire certified motor vehicle inspections station.  No taxicab can be operated on or after the twenty-fifth of the midyear inspection month unless the City Clerk has received an approved inspection form completed by the station inspector.
   (B)   The City Clerk shall be notified of any physical damage to a taxicab reported to the vehicle owner's insurer, within 48 hours of such damage. Such notification may be a copy of any written report submitted to the insurance company.  The City Clerk may order a special inspection of the damaged vehicle at a New Hampshire registered inspection station.
   (C)   The interior of all taxicabs shall be thoroughly cleaned at least once each week, shall be clean and sanitary at all times, and shall be suitable for the occupancy and safety of passengers.
   (D)   All drivers shall be courteous to the public, clean and neat in appearance, shall not use tobacco in any form while transporting passengers, shall not drink intoxicating liquors during their hours of employment, shall operate their vehicles at a reasonable rate of speed and shall obey the laws of the road and all traffic regulations.
   (E)   Vehicles will be subject to random inspections.  Owners will be given no more than three working days to correct deficiencies and may be ordered to take vehicles out of service until such deficiencies are corrected.
   (F)   Every taxicab licensed under the provisions of this chapter shall have displayed near the outside of each forward door or of each rear door, the name or the trade name of the taxicab company or taxicab dispatch company holding the vehicle license, in clearly visible letters of a minimum three inches in height.
   (G)   Every owner of a taxicab which is temporarily removed from passenger service shall clearly identify such vehicle as being “out of service” via an exterior light, if so equipped, or by placing a placard in the vehicle's rear window identifying the vehicle as being out of service.  The placard shall be placed in such a way so as to be visible from the rear but not so it is in conflict with state motor vehicle regulations.
   (H)   Every vehicle used as a taxicab shall be mid-size or larger and not be more than ten years old by model year.
   (I)   The City Clerk shall issue the taxicab business or taxicab dispatch company a medallion to display on each vehicle licensed under § 118.15(A)(1) of this chapter. This plate shall bear an identification number, assigned by the city for each licensed taxicab and must be displayed on the rear thereof, plainly visible to the public. This plate shall be firmly fastened to the body of the vehicle in such a manner that it will not easily become detached, and under no conditions shall the plate be attached to the state registration plate or the bumper of the taxicab. Under no circumstances shall a vehicle be permitted to operate as a taxicab without a valid medallion properly attached to the vehicle. The number of plates issued to a taxicab company or a taxicab dispatch company shall not exceed the maximum number of vehicles which are insured for passenger service under § 118.10(B)(5) of this chapter. Out-of-service vehicles shall be identified as provided for under § 118.39(G) of this section. However, a taxicab business or taxicab dispatch company may transfer the plate to another of its taxicab vehicles which are licensed under § 118.15(A)(1) of this chapter as backup or replacement vehicles so that those vehicles may be used in the transportation of passengers. The replacement fee for any medallion is $15.00.
   (J)   Taxicabs shall be at all times clean and in good repair inside and out. “Clean and in good repair” shall mean and include, without limitation, the following:
      (1)   No tears in carpeting;
      (2)   No rusted dents or dents with jagged edges;
      (3)   No tears in seat upholstery;
      (4)   No loose trash or large amounts of dirt or sand in the interior passenger area, whether or not the area is currently occupied by a passenger;
      (5)   No loose trim or body work;
      (6)   No cracks in windshield or windows; and
      (7)   Seat belts for all passenger seats visible and in working order.
   (K)   Each vehicle owner may equip his or her licensed primary and back-up vehicles with a protective partition of a type approved by the Office of the City Clerk dividing the driver's and passenger's seats. When installed in a vehicle this partition shall be enclosed in an adequate frame and constructed of material with a minimum thickness of one-half inch and of such other specifications required by the Office of the City Clerk. The partition must be stationary and may contain an appropriate opening, not more than six inches by six inches, for the payment of fares. Partitions shall be constructed in such a manner as to accommodate the official rate card (approximately five inches by eight inches) and taxicab driver's license (four inches by six inches) which shall be displayed in clear view of the passenger and secured from the driver's side of the partition. The partition and attached rate card and driver's license shall not obstruct the driver's rear vision or the passenger's view of the taximeter. The official rate card and taxicab driver’s license shall be prominently displayed at all times and in full view of any passengers in vehicles with or without an installed protective partition.
(Ord. passed 4-4-95; Am. Ord. passed 10-3-00; Am. Ord. passed 5-3-16; Am. Ord. passed 1-5-21)  Penalty, see § 118.99