At a ceremony honoring the city's safest hacks, Mayor Bill de Blasio Monday said that his Vision Zero initiative has been successful so far and personally commended the city's taxi drivers for playing their part.
The mayor and the Taxi and Limousine Commission held its first safety honor roll ceremony that acknowledged yellow and livery cab drivers who have had at least five years without a single crash involving injury, a traffic violation, or a violation of TLC safety-related rules.
There were 295 drivers who received the distinction and de Blasio said their work helped to reduce pedestrian fatalities 20% over the last eight months.
"This is something we need to do more often, celebrate the good news, celebrate the people who do the right thing and help others," he said at the ceremony at Borough of Manhattan Community College which included the drivers' families.
The TLC, which oversees 115,000 yellow, livery, black car, limousine and street hail livery drivers, has been working with the administration to meet its goal of zero traffic fatalities by 2024.
TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi said in addition to pushing drivers to obey speed limits and be mindful of the other people on the road, the agency wanted to promote good driving by spotlighting its best members.
"Teach what you know to younger lest experienced drivers," she told the group.
One of those honored drivers was Frederick Amoafo, who was named the safest cab driver in the city. The 46-year-old Queens resident, who originally hails from Ghana, traveled 190,000 miles and served more than 50,000 passengers over the last five years without once having a crash.
"I had no idea the TLC was keeping track of my performance," he joked.
Amoafo said he has always been made safety a top priority, especially since his son was a victim of a vehicle accident a few years ago. Although the teen wasn't seriously injured when he was struck while walking near Brooklyn Tech High School, Amoafo said he has always been cautious when he's behind the wheel.
"My most important goal is to get my passengers safely to their destination," he said.
De Blasio said fatalities among drivers, bike riders and pedestrians is down 8% so far this year.
"That means more people are walking the streets alive and well because of these policies," he said.