PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A Peoria rideshare driver is seeing red after police ticketed him in December for a blue aftermarket Uber sign and is fighting his $247 fine.
“[The officer] said he had a problem with the blue light,” said James Ferris, who drives for both Uber and Lyft. “He said it was an equipment violation and he was going to write me a citation.”
Ferris says he bought the sign last year on Amazon so he could be more visible to riders.
“I start early, around 5 o’clock in the morning. It’s real dark,” Ferris said. “This is a good way for the people, for the customer to see us as we’re coming up and they can know, hey, this is my Uber.”
Ferris says the sign worked well for about nine months until he was pulled over in Peoria. But the former San Diego Police officer says his sign isn’t breaking Arizona state law.
“28-947-B specifically states ‘red,’ followed by the words ‘or red and blue,’ which means red and blue combination, not blue standalone,” Ferris said.
But Peoria Police say they were in the right to cite Ferris.
“Very clearly in the statute it says the only allowable colors are white and amber in the front,” said Peoria Police Officer Brandon Sheffert.
Police say they also pulled Ferris over because he was speeding in a school zone, and are cracking down on his sign to avoid confusion.
“You’ve seen the news stories about impersonators out there. And obviously there’s people who don’t have that intention, but we don’t want anyone to ever be mistaken for that,” Sheffert said.
Still, Ferris says he’ll continue to fight, and is taking the issue to trial on Feb. 11.
“I believe I’m correct until the courts tell me otherwise,” Ferris said.
You can find the full state law detailing special restrictions on lamps here: https://www.azleg.gov/ars/28/00947.htm