The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) regulates cabs on the streets of the city. One of its responsibilities is to enforce regulations designed to ensure safe operation of taxis. As part of its ongoing effort to ensure passenger safety, the TLC recently seized 1,000 unlicensed cabs. This number surpasses the previous record of 849 cabs seized in January 2013.
The condition of some of the vehicles was so bad that it was amazing they were on the road at all. One had a broken front door that was secured by wrapping the driver’s seat belt through the open window. Another had a broken windshield, while a third was missing a license plate, had no hub caps and lacked bolts in all four tires. This third wreck was not even registered in New York, but in Texas.
Drivers with illegal cars have to pay towing fees and fines that range from $600 for a first offense to $1,500 for being found guilty after a hearing for multiple offenses.
The TLC is determined to put such pressure on the illegal cab business that the drivers and their junker cabs disappear. The TLC added 125 enforcement officers last year.
Illegal cab drivers don’t need to pass criminal background checks or drug tests. They don’t need to buy insurance. Their vehicles are not subject to the quarterly inspection required by the TLC. Based on the most recent seizures, many unlicensed cabs would not pass such an inspection and could easily be involved in serious car accidents.
According to TLC Commissioner David Yanksy, “”It’s an important part of our mission to protect the public from potentially unsafe cars.” He added, “As the illegal drivers come to understand that the TLC enforcement is real and has teeth, you’ll see the number of illegal drivers drop even further.”
Source: New York Post, City Seized Record 1,000 Illegal Cabs Last Month,” Sep. 8, 2013.