Mellowing the Yellow
T.A. Makes Safety Recommendations to the TLC
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T.A. has long sought to
improve the safety of cabs around pedestrians and bicyclists. And, though
accident and fatality rates have fallen in the last few years, there is still
much room for improvement; in 1999, 1,485 pedestrians and 632 bicyclists were
injured in taxi/livery crashes. Moreover, cabs set the tone on the street.
Recently, T.A. met with
Matthew Daus, the Commissioner of the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), to
propose a number of ideas aimed at making cabs safer around bicyclists and
pedestrians. Below are T.A.'s specific recommendations.
- Speed Governor triggers
prominent lights outside and inside the cab when the driver is speeding.
The device must be disengaged to reach speeds higher than 30 mph
- Speed Recorders measures
and records speeds on a chip and can be compared with trip logs
- Choose a next-generation
cab with sliding doors
- Install automatic locks on
street side passenger door
- Install driver-activated
illuminated sign inside passenger cabin directing passengers to exit on
the curb side
Impact of Collisions
- Ban deadly "bull
bars" (a.k.a. "push" or "crash" bars) from the
front end of cabs
- Choose a next-generation
cab with a low, sloping front-end to minimize the impact to the pedestrian
or bicyclist in a crash
Redesign the Passenger
Information Sticker to make safety your top priority. The current sticker
places the right to safe driving at the same level as the right to air
conditioning. A new sticker should emphasize two important messages:
- The speed limit in NYC is
30 mph. Remind your diver that you tip for safety.
- Exit on curbside-look for
bicycles and cars before opening door.
Emphasize four basic safety
messages to drivers in their training curriculum, written and road tests and
on their dashboard sticker.
- The speed limit is 30mph.
- Pedestrians and bicyclists
always have the right of way.
- Discharge passengers on
curb side only. Always pull
- Always use a turn signal.
- Expand the Critical Driver
Program to include crash records so that you will be able to suspend
drivers for being involved in crashes that injure cyclists or pedestrians.
For example, a driver with two or more crashes involving injury or
collisions with bicyclists or pedestrians at any time within a three year
period should be suspended for one year. After three or more similar
violations, the driver's license should be revoked.
- The police should begin
using undercover, safety enforcement agents in periodic crackdowns on
speeding, illegal lane changes, reckless driving and failure to pull to
the curb to discharge passengers. Though this would require the agents to
pay fares, this expense will be regained through deterrence of traffic
violations and could be covered by federal and state traffic safety
T.A. looks forward to
working with the TLC to implement these important safety measures.