A program launched by the New York Black Car Fund (BCF) in February is providing participating drivers with an added layer of protection that hadn’t been considered when it was first launched. The BCF’s S.A.F.E. iD program uses an innovative new telematics program that captures real-time data on driving behavior through an on-board device and/or a dual-sided dashboard camera.

Although the intent behind the program was (and continues to be) to help drivers develop better, safer driving habits, NYC has recently seen a spike in assaults and gun violence, caused by the continuing uncertainty of a global pandemic, civil unrest, historically grim unemployment numbers, and a deeply divisive election cycle. The cameras – which are provided FREE of charge to drivers covered by the BCF – record what goes on inside and outside of your vehicle.

To get your free “dashcam” and participate in the S.A.F.E. iD program, drivers can visit nybcf.org/safeidto opt-in for the benefit and fill out the registration form. You can choose one or both of the devices being used in the program: a Scope on-board diagnostic device (OBD) or a Nexar dual-sided dashboard camera.

Ideally, the BFC encourages drivers to opt-in for both devices as they each have their own unique benefits. There are a limited number of spots in the pilot program, so I urge all drivers to sign up ASAP.

The BCF’s S.A.F.E. iD team will reach out to you, once you opt-in, and the devices can be mailed to you, with detailed installation instructions. The Nexar cameras can also be picked up by drivers at a location in Queens, by appointment.

The S.A.F.E. iD mobile app offers access to a virtual dashboard where you can view personalized feedback, identifying areas of improvement, and saving you money in several ways: It helps lower insurance premiums, reduces wear and tear on your vehicle, saves money on gas, and of course, will help you avoid accidents.

The Nexar dashcam allows drivers to access all front and rear camera footage it records, serving as a personal witness and often helping expedite insurance claims.

Whether through the OBD or dashcam, S.A.F.E. iD notifies The Black Car Fund in the event of an accident, jump-starting the Workers’ Compensation claim process for covered trips and reducing the processing time for a new claim.

“We are always looking for ways to provide additional health and safety benefits to drivers,” notes BCF Executive Director, Ira Goldstein. “S.A.F.E. iD was a no brainer since it’s truly a win-win all around, providing drivers with useful information about their driving behavior, and in the case of the camera, giving them the peace of mind of having a video recording in the event they need it. We’re excited by the overwhelming and positive response that S.A.F.E. iD has gotten so far and encourage drivers to opt-in.”

Stay well, stay safe…

Article by Neil Weiss

Neil Weiss is the Editor/Publisher/Owner of Black Car News and Livery Times. He has been involved in the ground transportation industry since 1991, writing thousands of articles on a wide variety of subjects.

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