Kate Hinds is an Associate Producer for WNYC News. She also reports for WNYC and Transportation Nation, a public radio reporting project that combines the work of multiple newsrooms to provide coverage of how we build, rebuild and get around the nation.
City Failed to Take Action Against 4,500 Dangerous Cab Drivers
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 03:43 PM
Summonses are going out this week to 4,500 dangerous cab drivers New York should have flagged — but didn't, thanks to a software glitch.
Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky said the error was discovered after an internal review, which was prompted by a taxi collision that cost a British tourist part of her leg.
"We did a top-to-bottom review of our process for weeding out drivers with bad driving records," said Yassky. "We found there were some records that had been dropped over a period of time."
Cab drivers who earn more than six points on their licenses in a 15-month period of time face TLC penalties, and since 2010, the city had picked up on 10,000 of them. But that number should have been 14,500, or 50 percent more.
The driver who hit British tourist Sian Green had nine points on his license.
"We've now worked out a much smoother data transmission system with the Department of Motor Vehicles," said Yassky, "so we'll be getting the data in a form that will seamlessly go into our driver database and no records should be dropped going forward."
Those 4,500 drivers are facing suspension, fines, or the complete revocation of their licenses. But Yassky says that the penalties will differ based on when they occurred.
"Somebody who got six points in 2010 and has been driving cleanly for two-and-a-half years is a different story from somebody who racked up all their points in the last few months," he said.