Uber Telling San Francisco Drivers to Illegally Display Trade Dress & Airport Card

elelegido

Well-Known Member
This is how Uber wants California drivers to display the Uber trade dress and airport placard:

IMG_20160702_170713.jpg


However, if you display the items on the front windshield as above you are (1) breaking state law and (2) violating airport regulations.

California vehicle code states:

26708. (a) (1) A person shall not drive any motor vehicle with any
object or material placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or applied
upon the windshield or side or rear windows.

(2) A person shall not drive any motor vehicle with any object or
material placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or applied in or upon
the vehicle that obstructs or reduces the driver's clear view
through the windshield or side windows.
(3) This subdivision applies to a person driving a motor vehicle
with the driver's clear vision through the windshield, or side or
rear windows, obstructed by snow or ice.
(b) This section does not apply to any of the following:
(1) Rearview mirrors.
(2) Adjustable nontransparent sunvisors that are mounted forward
of the side windows and are not attached to the glass.
(3) Signs, stickers, or other materials that are displayed in a

seven-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield farthest
removed from the driver, signs, stickers, or other materials that are
displayed in a seven-inch square in the lower corner of the rear
window farthest removed from the driver, or signs, stickers, or other
materials that are displayed in a five-inch square in the lower
corner of the windshield nearest the driver.


So, Uber's requirement for drivers to place the trade dress 1/3 the way up the windshield, and not in a seven inch square in the bottom corner of the windshield, is invalid as doing so would mean the driver is breaking the law.

And, as for their requirement to place the airport placard at the bottom right corner, that's against regulations too. As published by the SFO Ground Transportation Unit:

(ii) Placard. The Airport shall provide the Permittee with an Airport Permit Placard for each of Permittee’s TNC Vehicles. The Permittee shall assign one Placard for each of its TNC Vehicles. The Permittee shall indicate the assigned TNC Vehicle on each Placard by inscribing with permanent marker the license plate number for that TNC Vehicle on the Placard. Each TNC Vehicle shall display the Placard on its dashboard. While operating on Airport roadways, whether or not carrying a passenger, every TNC Vehicle operating under Permittee’s permit shall display Permittee’s Placard on its dashboard. (iii) Decal. The Airport shall provide the Permittee with an SFO TNC Decal for each of Permitee’s TNC Vehicles. Each TNC Vehicle shall affix the Decal on the passenger-side, bottom corner of the front windshield.

So, the green placard goes on the dashboard, not the windshield. As for an SFO decal which we are supposed to receive, who knows - I don't think anyone has been given one of these. It looks like we're all breaking the regulations by having no SFO windshield decal. But even if an SFO decal did exist, it could not legally be displayed at the same time as Uber trade dress because vehicle code says that decals may only be displayed in that corner within a seven inch square, and both trade dress and an SFO decal would not fit in a square of those dimensions.

As for the CPUC requiring that trade dress displayed in particular locations on the windshields, again this is incorrect. From the CPUC's latest decision in April 2016:

Seventh, trade dress shall be placed in both the front and rear of a TNC vehicle/drivers’ vehicle and shall be identifiable from both the front and rear of a TNC vehicle/drivers’ vehicle.

No mention at all of exactly where trade dress must be displayed.

It's obvious that nobody, including Uber, has taken an overview of all of the requirements and regulations of the various agencies involved and seen that there are contradictions between them. But what is clear is that Uber's recommendations on displaying trade dress and placard must be ignored and:

- You can display trade dress only at the bottom, passenger's side corner of the windshield. It cannot be displayed on the left side because the trade dress measures over 5 inches, which is the vehicle code size limit on decals for that side.

- SFO placard goes on the dash, not on the windshield

- We can't place an SFO deal anywhere, because they haven't given us one.
 

elelegido

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2
"Chinki" from Uber responds, LOL

Chinki (Uber)

Hi elelegido,

Thanks for writing in,

I understand how important it is to get you back on the road as soon as possible.

At this time as long as the requirements have been fulfilled, your decal should be in the mail on the way to the address listed on the “Profile” tab of your partners.uber.com account. Please make sure that the address on your account is up-to-date! This is where your Uber "U" decal will be mailed to. Once you've received your decal and placed it on your vehicle, feel free to let us know here at support.

We appreciate your patience during this process of meeting the new regulations set forth by the Des Moines City Council. Please click here for further information about this new requirement.

Hope to get you back on the road soon!

Best,

Chinki
help.uber.com

-----------

As a San Francisco driver, it's great to see that Uber is on top of Des Moines regulations and that a now discontinued U trade dress is on its way to me.

Anyway, that's the first-line support gibberish answer out of the way; I'll attempt to have the issue escalated as normal and will post if Uber makes any sensible statement on this.
 

uberdriverfornow

Well-Known Member
It is so sad that it takes atleast 3 emails to get any kind of real answer regarding anything with Uber. It's clear they do this on purpose to get us to just give up asking for anything and then use the ambiguity of their unclarity against us when something goes wrong.
 

elelegido

Well-Known Member
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  • #4
It is so sad that it takes atleast 3 emails to get any kind of real answer regarding anything with Uber. It's clear they do this on purpose to get us to just give up asking for anything and then use the ambiguity of their unclarity against us when something goes wrong.
Yes, first line support CSRs' job is not to answer questions or solve problems. Their job is to block and filter out as many support attempts from drivers as possible. Their objective is to get drivers to give up and to prevent as many support tickets as they can from being escalated to the real CSRs in the US.
 

Uberbugg

New Member
For purposes of discusion and research, here is a link to the full text from April 2016. This was hard to track down.
im new so it doesnt like my link.
docs(dot)cpuc(dot)ca(dot)gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M161/K474/161474505(dot)PDF


They actually do specify at least a general location, but you have to dig deeper.

we reaffirm the above trade dress rule and expand it to include trade dress placed in the rear of a TNC vehicle, as follows (new text underlined):
TNC vehicles/drivers’ vehicles shall display consistent trade dress in the front and the rear of the vehicle (i.e., distinctive signage or display on the vehicle) when providing TNC services that is sufficiently large and color contrasted as to be readable during daylight hours at a distance of at least 50 feet. The trade dress shall be sufficient to allow a passenger, government official, or member of the public to associate a vehicle with a particular TNC (or licensed transportation provider). Acceptable forms of trade dress include, but are not limited to, symbols or signs on vehicle doors, roofs, or grills, or placed in the front and rear windshields. Magnetic or removable trade dress is acceptable. TNC shall file a photograph of their trade dress with the Safety and Enforcement Division. We do not require permanently affixed trade dress at this time, but reaffirm our requirement that trade dress must be displayed such that a TNC vehicle is readily identifiable during all three periods of TNC service.
3.1. Rear-facing trade dress
SFMTA and SFIA support this requirement but suggest that there be no trade dress on side doors as this may be too confusing. Lyft and Rasier suggest deleting the rear-facing trade dress requirement as it would be difficult for drivers to place/remove the rear-facing placards every time its drivers go on/off duty.

We reject the TNCs’ position as we do not believe that the requirement will impose an unreasonable burden on a TNC driver. We believe the requirement can be satisfied by either placing a placard on the inside or outside of the rear window, or by placing a magnetic attachment to the rear of the vehicle. The revised definition proposed here permits flexibility in designing rear trade dress.
Given all of tha info, it would be better/ safer to have magnetic decals on front and back, but window identification is specified and allowed for. It seems that while your car is your car on off time; while you are for hire, you fall under TNC and therefore CPUC rules which regulate you displaying trade dress "in the front and rear windows"

Now airport ident is a completely different issue.

edit: slight edit for better text flow
 
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elelegido

Well-Known Member
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  • #8
They actually do specify at least a general location, but you have to dig deeper.

It seems that while your car is your car on off time; while you are for hire, you fall under TNC and therefore CPUC rules which regulate you displaying trade dress "in the front and rear windows"
???

The text you quoted above says,

"Acceptable forms of trade dress include, but are not limited to, symbols or signs on vehicle doors, roofs, or grills, or placed in the front and rear windshields."

I take this to mean that acceptable forms of trade dress include, but are not limited to symbols on the car's doors, roof or grills, or placed in the front and rear windshields. As I mentioned, no mention of exactly where they should be displayed.

There's probably no need to try to overthink this, but just to know what the regs actually are in case we get stopped by cops, especially at SFO, where they've been doing revenue generation operations lately.
 
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Uberbugg

New Member
???

The text you quoted above says,

"Acceptable forms of trade dress include, but are not limited to, symbols or signs on vehicle doors, roofs, or grills, or placed in the front and rear windshields."

I take this to mean that acceptable forms of trade dress include, but are not limited to symbols on the car's doors, roof or grills, or placed in the front and rear windshields. As I mentioned, no mention of exactly where they should be displayed.

There's probably no need to try to overthink this, but just to know what the regs actually are in case we get stopped by cops, especially at SFO, where they've been doing revenue generation operations lately.
Exactly.
They were purposfully vaugue. Uber decided to inturperet in the most efficient and cheapest for them. Uber doesnt want magnet things that would be exspensive. They choose the cheapest option. I am just becomeing a driver. I went and did my car inspection on the July 1st and they handed me the window decals.

My whole point was are DMV rules trumped wih ceartain rules from CPUC in regards to TNCs? and how and in what way?
This like many things may be where the person being stopped knows more and must act respectfully, educate the officer if possible.
 

elelegido

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
Exactly.
They were purposfully vaugue. Uber decided to inturperet in the most efficient and cheapest for them. Uber doesnt want magnet things that would be exspensive. They choose the cheapest option. I am just becomeing a driver. I went and did my car inspection on the July 1st and they handed me the window decals.

My whole point was are DMV rules trumped wih ceartain rules from CPUC in regards to TNCs? and how and in what way?
This like many things may be where the person being stopped knows more and must act respectfully, educate the officer if possible.
DMV are just document processors who have the power to enforce the law via fines, suspensions etc. Vehicle code comes from the state legislature, whether that trumps CPUC regs and/or airport regs, or vice versa, I don't know.
 

Uberbugg

New Member
Thank you so much for taking the time to judge me as common or garden variety. I am sure your a very busy well-known troll. And that truly explains to me your concern over where to put a sticker that is required by the PUC. Thanks for your interest in my garden but I'll warn you....I usually pull the weeds. Have a happy 4th there Cupcake!
Now as for you questioning his concern for the sticker and its placement.
(Oh, back on topic? yes lets...)
Uber has a history of selfish disregard when it comes to the law saying it is up to the driver to follow the law.
The CPUC does NOT require stickers necassarily nor does it specify their specific placement. Uber has taken upon themselves to inturpuret the law and the accopanying desicions from the CPUC. So yes, this is a viable discussion, one that must be had so that we all follow the law and know the relevant laws. There are officers out there that will give you a ticket for "obstructing" your veiw when ther is nothing else to give you a ticket for. Not a good day.
 

Uberbugg

New Member
Hmm not sure about the multipost policy around here but wanted to add. The stickers are about 6 inch diameter circles (didnt measure) so by themselves if placed low enough and far enough over, they are fine. The real issue comes when the averge person places them, they wont be all the way in the 7 inch square corner. Also if you have the additional airport "sticker" it definatly wont fit together. The airport ident i specified for as a "placard on the dash" How big is the airport sticker and why has Uber decided a sticker instead of a placard?
So the trade dress cn follow the law by itself, but uber has given no guidance on HOW and where to place the stickr to be compliant with state driving laws.
 

Rick831

Member
What is so hard to understand about "lower right hand corner-front and rear window"? And yes...the PUC requires this-not just UBER...and thanks for your input Uberbugg ...your a wealth of information...
 

Kevin4163

Active Member
Thanks elelegido for digging up that info. Good to know in case we have to fight a fine in court.

IANAL, but I don't think police officers enforce or care about CPUC regulations. I think CPUC has their own small army of enforcers at California airports that have been granted authority to issue fines.
 
Am I the only driver that doesn't get bent out of shape with issues on the location of a sticker? I would give 9-1 odds that, if that one cop studying law knew these regulations back and forward stopped you, you could get off by just removing the sticker.

There's too much going on in life to be so OCD.
 

elelegido

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  • #16
Am I the only driver that doesn't get bent out of shape with issues on the location of a sticker? I would give 9-1 odds that, if that one cop studying law knew these regulations back and forward stopped you, you could get off by just removing the sticker.

There's too much going on in life to be so OCD.
It's not really a question of getting bent out of shape; it's just about knowing what the rules are, for one reason and one reason only: cops.

I didn't pay much attention to logos or trade dress or airport placards - for the first two years I didn't display any of that crap in my car. But then, starting last month. I noticed on several nights that there were cops at SFO airport pulling over drivers and writing them up, hour after hour, in sting operations. Then people here started posting about getting ticketed for placards and trade dress. One guy on here was ticketed and had his car impounded at LAX because he had the placard resting on the dashboard (where it's required by regulations to go) and not stuck to the windshield.

You may think that this discussion about the items and where they should go is trivial and OCD, and that's fine, but if that driver had known the rules, he could have educated the cop then and there at the traffic stop. And if, as is most likely, the cop would not have listened at the roadside, we can be damn sure that when it gets to court, they judge won't know the actual rules either; he'll just believe whatever the cop says. No problem; all the driver has to do is stroll into court with a copy of the regulations and he gets the charges thrown out, no fine and his impound charges refunded.

Often, knowing the law and successfully defending yourself is about knowing minutiae. And the lawyers who know the know the technicalities are the ones who are able to use them to get their clients off on the smallest of inconsistencies, inaccuracies and details in the prosecution's case.

So, far from being OCD or nitpicking, this is a real issue - drivers are getting $1,000 tickets over this and are getting harassed on a regular basis by cops over it. Me; I prefer to know what the requirements are so I can defend myself against uninformed cops, or worse, a huge fine and vehicle impound. It's not really to do with getting bent out of shape, as you suggest - the rules don't bother me in the slightest - as I said, it's about cops, and defending yourself. Maybe most drivers will never get hassled over this by them, but I think it is prudent to be educated on it, just in case.
 
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