A new bill would create a three-strike license suspension policy for New York City cab drivers.
Manhattan Councilman Daniel Garodnick introduced legislation Tuesday that would prohibit the Taxi and Limousine Commission from issuing new or renewed licenses to its drivers that have received three license suspensions within a ten-year period. That includes suspensions of TLC and state-issued licenses.
“This is common sense protection both for taxi riders and pedestrians,” Garodnick said. “Those drivers subjected to not just one, or two, but three suspensions should lose their right to a TLC license.”
All TLC drivers, from taxis to black cars and e-hails, are included under the bill. Garodnick said there was no specific impetus for the legislation, but noted that it coincides neatly with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero safety initiative.
The bill would provide certain exceptions for license suspensions that don’t relate specifically to driving infractions — like failure to make child support payments, or to pay court-ordered fines.
“We’re not talking about targeting ministerial problems here,” Garodnick said. “For a driver to get multiple suspensions for dangerous behavior, it takes a lot.”
Bhairavi Desai, founder of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, plans to issue a formal response in opposition of the bill. She called the legislation “overkill,” adding that it would heap more restrictions onto cabbies, who are already held to higher safety regulations.
“You can be suspended for several reasons. They do come easily,” Desai said, noting that public complaints could translate into TLC points. “It’s overkill. TLC drivers are held to a higher standard than any other motorist.”
Under current rules, TLC drivers that accrue six or more points, from either the TLC or the state, on their license within a 15-month period face a 30-day suspension. Drivers that are hit with 10 points on their license in the same time period will have their TLC licenses revoked with a yearlong probation.
“We are in the process of reviewing the bill, and we would be happy to review it with the council member directly,” said TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg in a statement.