Powerful Driver Training Video Adopted by TLC, MTA, and NYC DOT

A new video from the Taxi and Limousine Commission and Families For Safe Streets is now required viewing for drivers in training programs at TLC, DOT, and the MTA.

In the 15-minute video, “Drive Like Your Family Lives Here,” people talk about losing loved ones to traffic violence. The video features interviews with family members of Allison Liao, Renee Thompson, Carl Nacht, Josbel Rivera, and Asif Rahman. It was produced by Karlyn Michelson and Stephen Mallon in conjunction with the TLC, DOT, Families For Safe Streets, and Transportation Alternatives.

Like the DOT “Your Choices Matter” campaign, the video emphasizes the responsibility of motorists to drive safely. It was officially released Monday evening at an event held at the Crosby Street Hotel in Manhattan. On hand were TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan, and City Council members Ydanis Rodriguez and Helen Rosenthal.

The video is currently in use by the TLC, DOT, and the MTA, officials said. Trottenberg said she would contact the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to see if those agencies would employ it as well.

The video came about after Families For Safe Streets member Amy Cohen, mother of Sammy Cohen Eckstein, talked with Joshi at a Vision Zero event in early 2014. There are other, shorter videos now on Taxi TV, including one with the Cohen Eckstein family.

This is powerful Vision Zero messaging, and a natural complement to recent TLC reforms. While educating prospective drivers about the consequences of unsafe driving, the TLC should also require a New York City road test to obtain a TLC license.

Even after the adoption of Cooper’s Law, named after the 9-year-old boy killed by a yellow cab driver in 2014, a driver can retain his TLC license after causing injury or death if no charges are filed against him. As a result, many drivers who hurt and killed people are still driving cabs.

  • Larry Littlefield

    This is great. I’ve often thought that if people realized what could happen, it would happen less often.

    Imagine that every time you switched on the ignition in your motor vehicle, a different PSA featuring the family member of someone killed or crippled came on the radio, selected to match the time of day (drunk driving on Saturday night, etc). That alone might cut vehicle fatalities in half.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    It’s a shame that almost nobody will see this. They should run it on prime time TV instead.

  • Alex

    Like Jeffrey said, almost no one will see this and even if they do they will forget it and go about their business as usual without even remembering a single story. without accountability, there will never be change. All of these stories are tragic and yet none of them saw any kind of punishment for their neglect.

  • joyauto

    I have a suggestion. Treat killer drivers like they committed murder. That’s the only way to stop the carnage on our streets. As long as it’s “legal” to kill with a car….drivers will do just that. Vision Zero is a Zero…it’s a farce. There’s too much money to be made from crashes. It’s an industry that is protected.

  • ahwr

    Murder doesn’t necessarily require intent to kill in the state of NY. ‘Depraved indifference’ and ‘disregard for human life’ can upgrade lesser homicide charges to murder. If an epileptic truck driver neglects to inform the DMV and his employer of his medical condition, stops taking his medications because it interferes with his enjoyment of liquor, shortly after has a seizure while driving his truck, crashes into and kills a couple people it isn’t murder.

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2015/10/19/appeals-court-nixes-murder-conviction-of-off-meds-driver-who-killed-two/

    5-15 years for manslaughter is a serious penalty, but under current case law I don’t know what sort of motor vehicle crash could qualify as murder.

  • neroden

    There’s the case of the woman who got frustrated with a traffic jam so she DROVE ONTO THE SIDEWALK to pass the other cars and ran over several people.

    That’s “depraved indifference” and “disregard for human life” and should qualify as murder.

  • joyauto

    Okay, instead of calling it murder how about we call it the killing of another human being without justification? Would that make everyone happy?

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