Pennsylvania Bulletin, Vol 44, No. 43. October 25, 2014

LibraryPennsylvania Register
Published date25 October 2014
[ 52 PA. CODE CHS. 1017 AND 1019 ]
Taxicab Safety Cameras
The Philadelphia Parking Authority (Authority), on
June 12, 2014, adopted the final-form rulemaking order
to provide for the use of safety cameras in Philadelphia
Philadelphia Taxicab and Limousine Regulations;
Safety Cameras; Doc. No. 126-8
Final Rulemaking Order
By the Authority:
The Authority is the sole regulator of all taxicab and
limousine service in Philadelphia.
In furtherance of
those regulatory functions, the Authority issued a pro-
posed regulation at this docket number on November 25,
2013. The initial public comment period for this rule-
making proceeding concluded on April 7, 2014, the Inde-
pendent Regulatory Review Commission (‘‘IRRC’’) submit-
ted its comments on May 7, 2014. The Authority has
completed its review of the comments and now issues the
final-form regulation.
Purpose of the Final-Form Regulation
It has been widely recommended to the Authority on
several occasions, including public comment hearings
related to driver safety issues, that safety cameras be
placed in all taxicabs in Philadelphia. The cameras will
deter crimes and other bad acts in taxicabs by increasing
the likelihood that perpetrators will be apprehended with
the assistance of the photographic evidence produced by
the cameras.
The Authority has reviewed all of the comments filed
under this docket and responds as set forth below.
§ 1017.5. Basic vehicle standards.
This section is amended to remove reference to section
5714(b) of the act from paragraph (12). Act 119 removed
specific reference to a shield from that section of the act,
but granted the Authority the power to select safety
devices, this change will make the regulation consistent.
Paragraph (26) is added to require safety cameras among
the other basic vehicle standards.
Subchapter G. Safety Cameras
§ 1017.71. Taxicab safety cameras.
This section will provide owners with 120 days from the
effective date of the regulation to present their taxicabs to
the Authority for inspection with an approved and in-
stalled safety camera system. The regulation provides
guidelines related to the initial inspection, sealing and
posting of notices necessary to place the camera systems
in operation.
Subsection (b)(3)(iii) has been amended to clarify that
the Enforcement Department will post notice of the
presence of the safety cameras on the interior and
exterior of the vehicle. Section 1017.77(b) has also been
amended to clarify that these notices must be affixed to
both the exterior and interior of the taxicab.
§ 1017.72. Safety camera system testing.
This section provides that camera systems inspections
may conducted by scheduling or in the field and may
include the operation of the taxicab with an inspector
§ 1017.73. Approved safety camera system.
This section provides that the Authority will maintain a
list of already approved safety camera systems on its
website, as with meter systems in § 1017.23 (relating to
approved meters).
§ 1017.74. Safety camera requirements.
This section will provide minimum components of what
a safety camera system must include. Commentator Black
Point Taxi, LLC, et al. (‘‘BPT’’) questioned the constitu-
tionality of using safety cameras in taxicabs. IRRC asked
that the Authority address this issue. BPT cites several
cases related to unreasonable search and seizure, some
including taxicabs.
We agree that the Fourth Amendment does not stop at
a taxicab’s back door. However, the open and obvious
photographing of a passenger in a government licensed
taxicab that is open to public use on a public roadway is
simply not an ‘‘unreasonable’’ search. Indeed, the first
case cited by BPT, Katz v. U.S., actually supports this
position when it provides: ‘‘What a person knowingly
exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is
not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection.’’
United States Supreme Court has specifically found that
a person does not have a reasonable expectation of
privacy from aerial surveillance even within his fenced-in
backyard, because the yard can be seen from the air.
BPT cites a series of inapplicable criminal cases. Each
of those cases involved the surreptitious surveillance of
individuals by law enforcement or trespass upon private
property by law enforcement engaged in the inspection of
individuals’ bags or other possessions. A search within the
meaning of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitu-
tion ‘‘occurs when an expectation of privacy that society is
prepared to consider reasonable is infringed.’’
In Hassan
the court determined that private financial data collected
through the mandated New York City taxicab meter
system did not constitute an unreasonable search. Simi-
larly, the Courts in Pennsylvania have found as follows:
‘‘[a] person has a constitutionally-protected expecta-
tion of privacy in cases where: (1) the person has
exhibited an actual (subjective) expectation of pri-
vacy; and (2) society is prepared to recognize the
expectation of privacy as reasonable.’’
The taxicab passenger cannot demand that the driver
not listen to the passenger’s conversation. A taxicab
passenger cannot demand that a driver not look at the
passenger. The taxicab passenger cannot demand that the
world, including the government, avert its gaze while the
person hails or enters a taxicab on a public street, while
riding in the taxicab on a public roadway or upon exiting
1The act of July 16, 2004, (P.L. 758, No. 94), 53 Pa.C.S. §§ 5701 et seq., as
amended, (the ‘‘act’’).
2389 U.S. 347, 351 (1967).
3California v. Ciraolo, 476 U.S. 207 (1986).
4Hassan El-Nahal v. David Yassky et al 2014 U.S. Dist. Lexis 13522 (U.S.N.Y
January 29, 2014), quoting, Maryland v. Macon, 472 U.S. 463, 469, 105 S. Ct. 2778, 86
L. Ed. 2d 370 (1985).
5Commonwealth v. Duncan, 817 A.2d 455, 463 (Pa. 2003).

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