TLC Seeking 30-Day Hack License Suspension After Midtown Curb-Jump Crash

The Taxi and Limousine Commission is moving to suspend the hack license of the cab driver involved in Tuesday’s curb-jump crash in Midtown, which would keep him off the job for 30 days. Meanwhile, the Post reports that NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly says police are investigating the crash.

The cabbie was identified in the press as Faysal Kabir Mohammad Himon, 24, of Queens. On Tuesday morning Himon rammed a cyclist with his cab at Sixth Avenue and 49th Street, then drove on the sidewalk with the cyclist on the hood before striking tourist Sian Green, according to multiple accounts. FDNY said two victims were transported from the scene.

“The impact severed Green’s left foot and shattered her right leg,” writes the Post. “Doctors had to amputate the left leg below the knee, but were able to save her right leg.”

The Daily News and the Post reported that Himon has a history of reckless driving, with three moving violations in 2011, including citations for running a red light and doing 65 mph in a 45 mph zone, resulting in nine points on his license. The Post says in 2010 Himon was involved in another crash that resulted in injury.

“He’ll receive a summons and his due process rights will allow him the opportunity to have a hearing on it with an administrative law judge,” a TLC spokesperson said. If the TLC action is successful, Himon would receive a 30-day “punitive suspension,” the spokesperson said.

After a cab driver killed a senior in the West Village last year, the TLC told Streetsblog that unless a cabbie faces criminal charges, or a consumer files a complaint, the agency has no lawful basis for action against a driver who harms a pedestrian.

The Daily News reported that Himon was issued a summons for “unauthorized use,” which the paper described as “an administrative violation for not submitting a form notifying the Taxi and Limousine Commission that he would be driving that particular cab.” The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is investigating the crash, as is NYPD, according to Kelly.

“The investigation is going forward. Collisions, accident investigations take some time. It takes some time to do that and reconstruct the scene. We’re looking for video,” Kelly said.

Sources told The Post investigators were already poring over extensive surveillance video from the crash, which happened on the northwest corner of Sixth Avenue and West 49th Street about 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Cops are also interviewing witnesses and gathering all available evidence and could pursue charges including felonies if warranted, the sources said.

Paul White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, has called on TLC Commissioner David Yassky to “immediately revoke the driver’s ability to operate a cab in New York City.”

While it’s commendable that NYC law enforcers are doing their jobs here, again, their reaction to this crash brings to mind dozens of other horrible incidents that garnered far less attention. It should not be exceptional that the police, the district attorney, and the city agency charged with governing taxi drivers are seeking justice after a horrendous act of vehicular violence.

  • Vitaliy Ogorodnikov

    The last Faisal who caused mayhem in Midtown got sentenced to life in Supermax.

  • Joe R.

    30 days? How about lifetime instead. This guy has no business driving anything bigger or more powerful than a bicycle on city streets, never mind a taxi.

  • Anonymous

    TLC Math: One human foot = 30 day suspension. Doesn’t add up.

  • J

    We now know how high the bar is set for a serious investigation into crashes, and it’s appalling. The ONLY reason it’s being investigated is because it was incredibly high-profile and deliberate. Without major press coverage and a celebrity responder, there would absolutely be no investigation or criminal charges, either from NYPD or Vance. I’m glad that this is being investigated, but there should never have been any doubt about an investigation. There should NEVER be any NYPD source claiming “no criminality suspected” before an investigation is conducted. When you strike a pedestrian or cyclist with an automobile, there should be an investigation, EVERY TIME. The NYPD should collect video evidence and interview witnesses EVERY TIME. These are BASIC procedures mandated by law.

  • Wow. 30 days. That’ll really show ’em.

  • Crowie

    What on earth does a cab driver have to do to lose his license permanently? Kill someone? Kill multiple people? Intentionally kill multiple people? This is atrocious.

  • Anonymous

    Per TLC regulations:

    “A taxi operator license may be revoked permanently for any of the following reasons:
    a) intentionally killing multiple U.S. presidents while operating a taxi.
    b) engaging in genocide resulting in the death of over 1 million people while operating a taxi.
    c) participating in acts of terrorism that result in the collapse of high-rise buildings or crashing of commercial passenger aircraft while operating a taxi.
    d) hijacking of merchant ships while operating a taxi.
    e) stealing nuclear warheads while operating a taxi.

    “For other violations, license suspensions of up to 30 days may be applied.”

  • I note that the Post is reporting the cyclist involved has “a long rap sheet” and could face charges over the incident, which the driver blames on the cyclist. The tabloids previously reported (obviously erroneously) that the cab driver had a clean record. So once again someone at the NYPD is giving the press information that tends to clear the driver and shift blame onto the victims.

  • vnm

    This happened at 49th Street and the Avenue of the Americas – across the street from NBC and a block away from NY Post / Wall St. Journal offices. Would the press coverage have been as big if it had happened at, say, 49th Street and Tenth Avenue?

  • Ian Turner

    No.

  • JK

    I’m hoping that this crash spotlights the massive deficiencies with TLC’s road safety oversight. Medallion cabs are heavily regulated by the city, so why do we continue to see cab drivers routinely driving like dangerous maniacs ten or twenty miles over the speed limit? Why does the public tolerate speeding cabs when the technology is in place to hugely reduce speeding by cab drivers? Why is there so much regulatory protection for drivers and so little for the pedestrians and cyclists that cabbies are hitting, maiming and killing? Why doesn’t TLC have:
    1. Black boxes in every cab that can be easily downloaded by the police or TLC after any crash?
    2. Regular, public, audits of driver speed using in-car recording and GPS. (How fast are cabs going? We isn’t this data public? My experience is that medallion drivers will always exceed the speed limit by 10-15mph if traffic conditions permit — always.)
    3. An online warning notice to drivers and their employers when a driver exceeds 10mph or more 2x in a month.
    4. Policies that ban drivers who exceed the street speed limit by 20mph. You shouldn’t be driving a cab if you go 50mph on a 30mph street.
    5. Online dangerous driver profile which lists drivers with the most moving violations.
    6. Quarterly public audit of compliance with pick-up and drop-off regulations. (What percent of pick-up/drop-off comply with rules requiring cab to go to curbs? I’d guess less than 10%. This is a safety concern because double parked cabs force cyclists — and motorists — to merge into traffic. The rules are basically a joke and ignored, like many TLC rules.)
    7. Quarterly public safety report which summarizes safety measures TLC is taking, crash trends —
    8. A mandatory half-day of bike riding before being granted a provisional license.

    Folks on this list can probably do better, but it’s stunning to see how atrocious cab driver behavior continues to be after twelve years of a mayoralty concerned with making streets safer. I’d like to see Streetsblog keep after TLC and uncover all of the reasons that agency is not reining in the 10,000+ cabs rampaging on city streets. Is it the owners? Insurance companies? Governance of the TLC? What the hell is the problem and how do we the public go about putting the screws to the next mayor and council to fix it?

  • Joe R.

    Since cabs already have GPS installed, how about limiting the speed to the speed limit, and limiting the acceleration rate to 2 or 3 mph per second? You would disable this feature for highway driving where you need higher acceleration rates. Certainly this is technically feasible. As a bonus, a bunch of taxis doing no more than 30 mph, and accelerating about as fast as a cyclist, will do wonders to calm all the other road users. With limited acceleration rates this crash probably wouldn’t have even occurred. The people on the sidewalk would have had time to see the cab coming in time to run out of the way.

  • dk12

    “may be revoked” – unless operator has a clean record then TLC review committee will take that into consideration.

  • JamesR

    I would LOVE to see an expose that answers these very questions. The TLC and its cabs are at the very route of the sociopathic road culture of this city. The yellow cabs set the tone for everyone else on the road, and drivers in livery cabs and private vehicles simply follow suit with their own aggressiveness because the yellow cabs make it look like it’s actually okay to routinely drive in a way that puts others’ lives at risk.

  • 30 DAYS?!

    How about forever, along with his license to drive, forever?

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