Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Car Culture

Daily News on Distracted Cab Drivers: What’s the Big Deal?

In an apparent quest to see which local daily can issue the most ridiculously auto-centric assessment of the problems plaguing the public realm, the "New York" Post has some competition.

amd_axel.jpgIn August, 8-year-old Axel Pablo was killed by a cab driver in Harlem. Witnesses say the cabbie was on his cell phone. Though police cleared him of wrongdoing, the TLC has since revoked his hack license. Photo via Daily News

Commenting today on pending action by the Taxi and Limousine Commission to ban the use of electronic devices by cab drivers while their vehicles are in motion, the Daily News wonders: What's the problem?

According to the News, keeping cab drivers off the phone should only be required when passengers are present -- apparently because News editors believe distracted driving is a mere annoyance, rather than a well-documented threat to public safety:

The present TLC rules forbid cell chatting while cabbies are driving.That's reasonable; you shouldn't have to listen to your hack yack whileyou're paying $2 per mile, no more than you should be forced to listento the radio at full blast.

But when drivers are alone, using their cabs as cars -- just likemillions do -- they should live by the same rules as the rest of thepopulation.

So instead of advocating for more stringent distracted driving laws for everyone who gets behind the wheel, the editors of the Daily News would prefer that we "cut some slack" to thousands of professional drivers who patrol streets teeming with vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists 24/7/365. Never mind that cell-phone-using drivers, hands-free or no, are four times more likely to be involved in a crash. And remember that national summit a couple of weeks ago, when the U.S. secretary of transportation declared distracted driving a "deadly epidemic"? Honestly, people: Where have you been?

For the record, the Post is in favor of the new TLC rules. And no wonder. It's hard to believe a position so ill-informed as that of the Daily News editorial board could be held by anyone who reads a newspaper on a daily basis, much less publishes one.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Thursday’s Headlines: Paris is a Lot Cooler than NYC Edition

The City of Light has figured out how to reduce the heat island effect. Plus other news in today's daily digest.

July 18, 2024

Exclusive: Legal Team Announced for Suit Against Hochul’s Congestion Pricing ‘Pause’

Attorneys from three firms have inked a joint defense agreement to fight "the governor’s illegal decision to cancel congestion pricing," Comptroller Brad Lander said.

July 17, 2024

Brooklyn BP Wants Mayor Adams To Do More To Reduce Parking

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso's recommendation on City of Yes: Eliminating parking mandates is not enough!

July 17, 2024

Wednesday’s Headlines: Citi Bike By the Numbers Edition

Haters of Citi Bike are really going to detest the new website. Plus other news.

July 17, 2024

Once Again, There is More Evidence that Safer Streets Help Local Business

...and there's more insight into why people simply don't believe it.

July 17, 2024
See all posts