Taxi industry has own safe driving plans

The taxi and livery cab industries have their own visions for safer driving.

The taxi and livery cab industries have their own visions for safer driving as the city starts to implement Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic fatalities.

Volunteers from the Sergeants Benevolent Association will go to the garages of taxi fleet owners to talk to drivers about street safety, as well as dealing with the NYPD, passengers and potentially violent situations.

“[We are] volunteering our time to make another industry better and safer, more educated as to rules of the road, handling pedestrians and pedestrian safety,” Sergeant Ed Mullins, president of the SBA, said of the partnership with the Greater New York Taxi Association.

Meanwhile, the Livery Roundtable, which represents drivers and base owners, wase slated to present a plan at a City Council town hall meeting on Vision Zero last night to have the Taxi and Limousine Commission give a 20% break in licensing fees to safe drivers. The plan also calls for enlisting drivers and passengers to report unsafe behavior on the road. The Livery Roundtable also plans to hand out safety packets at bases. The group will also give out bumper stickers that say “I’m a Vision Zero Livery Driver.”

Avik Kabessa, a Livery Roundtable board member and CEO of Carmel car service, said the group’s proposals can complement stronger enforcement of dangerous driving.

“We want to reward positive behavior,” Kabessa said. “You take a driver, you make them an ambassador of Vision Zero and you give them a mission.”