SEPTEMBER INDUSTRY UPDATE
Greetings, I hope this message finds you safe and well. In this Industry Update, I will share information on Driver Safety, early voting, the census, rapid COVID-19 testing, and how to avoid common issues at TLC Vehicle Inspections.
Everyone deserves a safe and secure place to work, whether that’s an office, taxi, or for-hire vehicle. In recent Industry Updates, I shared new procedures the TLC has put in place to help Drivers report physical and verbal assaults. We work closely with the NYPD to ensure that anyone who harms a TLC Driver is brought to justice, and that victims receive the assistance and advocacy they deserve. Unfortunately, there were several attacks against TLC Drivers in July and August.
Last month, we shared some critical information with TLC Drivers on how to avoid potentially dangerous situations. Some of the worst assaults against Drivers have been by passengers on trips not dispatched by a licensed base. If you are a For-Hire Vehicle Driver, never pick up a passenger on the street without a dispatch. New York State Workers’ Compensation benefits are only available for TLC Drivers who complete a trip dispatched by a licensed base in a TLC licensed vehicle.
When you start a trip, it is helpful to make eye contact and greet your passenger, in case you ever need to identify them. Be aware of their body language, try to keep a safe distance, and remain calm when speaking. Taxi and livery vehicles can have a partition, or an approved in-vehicle camera system installed for additional security. You can find a list of approved installers on the TLC website. Dashboard cameras that record events that occur on the road and inside their vehicle are allowed in Black Cars and Luxury Limousines. The footage can be very helpful in case you are involved in a collision or if you have a negative interaction with a passenger.
VOTING AND CENSUS
I wanted to use this opportunity to let you know that all New Yorkers can now obtain an absentee ballot to vote safely in the November Election, due to the recent changes to the State law. According to NYC Votes, you can request your absentee ballot now at nycabsentee.com and avoid lines on Election Day. You can also vote early between Oct. 24 and Nov. 1. If you have not registered to vote yet, the deadline to register and vote in the November election is October 9. If you mail in your application, it must be received by the Board of Elections by October 14. You can find information on how to register to vote here: https://vote.nyc/page/register-vote.
Another great way you can help your community and be civically engaged is to complete the Census. The Census completion deadline has been moved to September 30. It is more important than ever that everyone complete the Census so that New York can receive critical federal dollars for healthcare, education, and other public services. It’s also important to ensure that New York does not lose any Congressional representation due to undercounting. Please head to my2020census.gov to complete the Census today — it only takes about ten minutes.
GET TESTED FOR COVID-19
Last month, the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene began to offer rapid, free COVID-19 testing in 24 hours or less. This is a very important step to identify coronavirus cases early to prevent community spread, and help the city reopen safely. Most patients receive their tests results on the same day that they visit. You can make an appointment for rapid testing online: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-rapid-testing.page.
PASSING YOUR TLC VEHICLE INSPECTION
To ensure public safety, TLC vehicle owners must have their vehicles inspected several times a year. Inspectors catch safety issues that can put drivers and passengers at risk. We created the guide below to help you keep your vehicle in excellent condition and smoothly pass your TLC Inspection.
The most common issues that vehicles have during inspections involve tires, lights, seatbelts, and windshield wipers.
Before your inspection, ensure that the tire tread depth is at least 2/32 inches, and that the tire pressure meets the car manufacturer’s recommendations. There should be no missing lug nuts, which are used to secure the wheels. For exterior lights, always make sure they are DMV approved, properly mounted and in working condition. These lights include the vehicle’s headlights, tail lights, brake lights, parking lights, signals, back-up lights, and hazard warning lights. Check that all seatbelts are present and in working order, and that the windshield wipers are fully operational.
Taking these steps will help your inspection process go smoothly.
Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk
Commissioner and Chair
NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission
33 Beaver Street, 22nd Floor, New York, NY 10004