Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

The TLC Traffic Safety Squad

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) today highlighted a year of progress in its efforts to support Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero Action Plan. As one of three lead Vision Zero agencies, alongside the NYPD and NYC DOT, the TLC’s role is to enhance the safety of the taxicab and other for-hire industries it regulates, through effective regulations, communication, education, and new technology. The TLC also laid out its pathway to building on the successes of its “Vision Zero Year Two” with an even busier year ahead.

“The TLC is fortunate to have a dedicated staff, and a safety-conscious group of industry leaders and drivers to work with,” said TLC Commissioner and Chair Meera Joshi. “We have surpassed even our own expectations of the number of drivers we’ve reached with our messages this past year, but we still have a long way to go and hard work ahead of us to reach Vision Zero.”

Commissioner Joshi also emphasized a message to passengers, namely “Tell your drivers that safety and NOT speed is your priority, and make it clear that you tip for safety.”

TLC Achievements in Year Two:

  • The TLC Traffic Safety Squad was formed in January 2015 to focus exclusively on traffic safety.  Safety Squad  enforcement officers  issued more than 5, 600 traffic safety summonses to taxi and for-hire vehicle drivers in 2015, focusing  on dangerous behaviors like cell phone use, speeding, and other moving violations.
  • TLC issued almost 350% more traffic safety summonses in 2015 than 2013.
  • In the first ten weeks of 2016, the agency has already surpassed the 2013 full year total of traffic safety violations issued to TLC drivers.
  • Between 2013 and 2015, the TLC saw a dramatic increase in speeding violations given to TLC drivers—fewer than ten in 2013 to more than 1,000 in 2015.
  • The agency also recognized 256 TLC-licensed drivers for their extraordinary driving records while putting millions of miles behind the wheel. The second annual honor roll in 2015 celebrated drivers who had no crashes involving fatalities or injuries, no traffic violations, and no violations of TLC safety-related rules for five or more years.
  • With tools from Cooper’s Law and the Vision Zero-inspired Local Law 28 of 2014, the TLC has summarily suspended the licenses of 15 drivers involved in fatal or serious injury crashes since 2014, taking them out of the professional driver’s seat until appropriate further actions are determined by NYPD investigations and/or the resolution of criminal cases.
  • The TLC worked with Families for Safe Streets, Transportation Alternatives, and the DOT to create a video that shares the stories of five families whose lives were devastated by crashes.   “Drive Like Your Family Lives Here” shares the experience of family members who lost a loved one to a traffic-related tragedy. The film is now part of driver training programs, and is being used in education efforts by the MTA, NYPD, DOT, and DCAS.
  • This year, the TLC also expanded a pilot program to test new and innovative in-vehicle technology, such as cutting edge black box devices and driver alerts, authorizing seven new technology vendor participants and 50 TLC-licensed vehicles.
  • As of December 2015, the TLC has now fully implemented its new requirement that For-hire Vehicle (FHV) driver license applicants to attend “FHV School”, joining their taxi-driver colleagues to learn a variety of valuable skills. Like taxi school, the curriculum includes a Vision Zero component that covers the rules of the road, information on new kinds of streetscapes, viewing of “Drive Like Your Family Lives Here,” and safe driving tips.

Looking Ahead

  • We have already taken the first steps in using the trip data available to us to determine how prevalent fatigued driving is among taxi and for-hire drivers. Our goal in the coming months is to develop and propose rules, grounded in data and best practices that will distill our research into tangible actions that will ensure the safe operation of all our regulated industries.
  • We will soon provide data to companies so they know how their drivers are performing when it comes to safety, and tailor our in-person outreach efforts to the companies and drivers who need the most support to improve their safety records.
  • We will evaluate our enforcement work, such as the DMV points-based Critical Driver Program, to see if it is causing desired changes in driver behavior and what can be done to improve the effectiveness of this and other enforcement tools.

About the NYC TLC: The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) was created in 1971, and is the agency responsible for the regulation and licensing of over 200,000 yellow medallion taxicabs and for-hire vehicles, their drivers, and the businesses that operate and support their industries. It is recognized as the largest and most active taxi and limousine regulatory body in the United States. To find out more about the TLC, or to review its rules and procedures, we encourage you to visit our official Web site at or contact 311/311 Online.


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