Taxi - Call 911

You know that little rectangular light on top of a taxi cab that says “taxi”? On many taxis in Washington, D.C., besides “taxi,” it also says “Call 911.” This doesn’t make any sense to me. Most people already know to call 911 in emergencies. Those who don’t know what 911 is would, I think, interpret the sign to mean that one should call 911 when one wants a taxi. What’s up with this?

(Also, I’ve never been able to figure out whether the light means that the cab is available or not available.)

Maybe there’s another lightbulb behind the “Call 911” so that if the driver needs the police but can’t call them because someone has a gun aimed at his back, he can just flip a switch. Then the “Call 911” would be lit up, and (hopefully) someone will see it and call the cops.

I wondered about this same thing. My guess was that it was the number you were supposed to call. Some say TAXI-911, I guess that means to dial 829-4911 (taxi-911), to get a taxi. And I guess that call 911 could be the same thing.

Most of the time, though, it seems like “Taxi” and “Call 911” are part of the same message, displayed close together, sometimes even as “Call Taxi 911.”

Whatever it is supposed to say, it doesn’t seem to be clear enough.

Most cabs have panic switches in them to alert the police to a situation in the cab.Other cabbies see this too,and hopefully someone will notify an authority in time.

I don’t know if that’s the case in your 911,that the cab companies think the general public can help out also,but it seems like that idea doesn’t seem to be taking off :slight_smile: