Cabbie Faces Right of Way Charges for Critically Injuring Midtown Pedestrian

Image: NY1
Image: NY1

Taxi driver Babul Miah, 29, faces charges under the city’s Right of Way Law after critically injuring a 20-year-old woman who was in the crosswalk at Eighth Avenue and West 57th Street on Saturday at approximately 5:30 p.m.

The woman, who was not identified by police, was crossing 57th Street from south to north on the east side of Eighth Avenue when Miah, driving north on Eighth Avenue, struck her while turning right onto 57th Street, according to NYPD. He then crashed into a payphone on the sidewalk. The woman was taken to Weill Cornell Medical Center in critical condition and is “likely to die,” police officials told the Daily News.

“It was hectic. It was just hectic. Everybody was mad because it was so much people,” a witness told NY1. “Her boyfriend, the people who was watching it, was like, ‘Could you stop, stop, stop.'”

Miah was charged with failure to exercise due care and failure to yield to a pedestrian, misdemeanor charges under the city’s Right of Way Law. His hack license was “immediately suspended” under Cooper’s Law, the Taxi and Limousine Commission told Streetsblog.

Miah is new to taxi driving. He was issued a hack license in April and was still in a probationary period, allowing the TLC to take “more aggressive actions,” including automatic revocation of a license [PDF]. TLC has not yet taken any action other than suspending Miah’s license.

Transportation Alternatives released a statement commending NYPD for its investigation and filing charges against the driver. “So far this year, there have been eight fatal crashes involving yellow cabs, boro taxis and for-hire vehicles,” said Executive Director Paul Steely White. “Of the eight people killed in crashes involving taxis, five victims were walking with the right of way, either in a crosswalk or on the sidewalk.”

The crash occurred in the district represented by Council Member Corey Johnson, on the border of Community Boards 4 and 5. The intersection is located in the Midtown North precinct, which issued 238 failure-to-yield tickets in 2014, up from 146 in 2013. The precinct issued 105 failure-to-yield tickets from the beginning of the year through the end of last month [PDF].

There have been 31 pedestrian injuries at the intersection since 2009, including two this year through the end of last month, according to the city’s Vision Zero View.

The crash occurred one week after a taxi driver killed Amelia Sterental, 76, while making a left turn from Madison Avenue onto E. 60th Street. No charges were filed against the driver in that crash.

  • Mark Walker

    How many times have I thought: “I’ve walked over that spot many times. That could have been me.” More times, more places than I can count, including this corner. But seeing someone charged under the Right of Way Law is new and different. I hope this becomes part of the pattern. Though, better yet, I hope the pattern of nonstop carnage dwindles and disappears. Zero is the only acceptable number.

  • Andres Dee

    Sad

  • Daphna

    I feel so sad reading that a young 20 year old woman was hit and will likely die from her injuries.

    That intersection could benefit from curb bulb outs at the corners because there are so many pedestrians crossing there and the sidewalk gets very crowded. There is a lot of retail there. It should be common sense to anyone driving to proceed slowly and with caution through that whole area. After hitting the woman, the driver hit a payphone – he was obviously not paying attention to the road in front of him in any way!

    When I bike, I wear bright colors, reflective strips, and have lights, but even so I never assume that a motorist will see me. I also never assume that a motorist will yield to me even when I lawfully have the right of way. So I always yield to the motorists and take precautions to stay out of their way. This is not how it should be, but this is what I do to try to stay unharmed. It would be nice if this kind of hyper-vigilance were not needed.

  • Bobberooni

    His cabbie license might have been revoked, but he’ll have no problem finding for-hire work with Uber and Lyft. Time for the pols to consider regulating ride-hailing companies in some way OTHER than their fares.

  • Daphna

    It is not Uber and Lyft that are the problem. This cabbie’s driver license should be revoked, not just his TLC license. Then he could not drive at all which would be most appropriate.

  • Cold Shoaler

    I don’t think this is true in NYC. Uber and Lyft drivers have to be licensed by the TLC and dispatched by a base. Please correct me if that’s not the case. I know it’s different outside of the city.

  • marks

    It’s high time the city require that taxi drivers and all other for-hire vehicle drivers pass a city-specific road test. A properly designed test might weed out some of the reckless drivers who are gambling with everyone else’s lives on our streets.

  • com63

    Also, require all cabs to have dash cams so when there is an accident (or when they witness an accident), there is no more he said, she said or in the case of a dead pedestrian, what the driver said.

  • sam

    was there when it happened, cab driver didnt get out of his car, didnt even look at her. didnt seem to care one bit. if it were me that hit her i would have been hysterical. taking the life of someone needs to have MUCH bigger consequences then this, why not arrest him? selling weeds puts you in jail but smashing a person into a phone booth and likely killing her (and if not, she will most likely at least loose her leg because it was in horrible condition) only gets your TLC license taken away? what kind of world is this.

  • chekpeds

    DOT needs to be held accountable for this one . This intersection was reported as THE MOST dangerous in 2011 and the remedies were pathetic ( put look on the street hire cops !)
    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/2011-nyc-top-20-pedestrian-crash-locations.pdf

    CHEKPEDS and CB4 went on the offensive with the help of Linda Rosenthal and DOT is now evaluating split phases. https://www.dropbox.com/s/srqadtvhdxatrvx/January%202015%2057th%20and%208th%20Avenue.docx?dl=0 there was supposed to be a left turn split phase with a bike lane, but this was nixed and it appears that the Hearst press group needed the curb to park their limos . This is a perfect example of trading parking for safety .

    I am so upset by this situation and the fact that we could not catch it in time..

    If only there was a program to fix the top most dangerous intersections each year ( and I mean FIX with split phases – not paint) this would not have happened. we need a law to institute this safety protocol

  • neroden

    Thank goodness someone was actually charged; a nice change. He was charged with the right crimes, even. (It’s very unusual and the commander of the precinct must be commended.)

    But why does the motorist still have a drivers license? Why do killer motorists routinely retain their ability to drive?

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG