The New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) began enforcing its driver fatigue rules. The rules were crafted with the High-Volume For-Hire Vehicles (HVFHVs) in mind, ended up affected traditional Black Cars as well.
According to the Black Car Assistance Corporation, “If you have received any penalties or fines, you may be able to argue against it by noting that the Black Car dispatch systems work differently than [those of] HVFHVs. For the purposes of their fatigue rules, they count the time that our drivers spend waiting for passengers, as well as travel time.”
The BCAC invites Black Car drivers with any questions or concerns to reach out to Lionel Morales at [email protected], who will assist you in putting together a response to the TLC or answer any questions you may have.
Prior to the implementation of this rule – which has been on the books for a couple years now – TLC driver fatigue rules pertained on to taxi drivers. It limited to 12 the number of consecutive hours that a taxi driver could drive for hire. The TLC felt that rule was too limited in scope because it not apply to FHV drivers and was difficult to enforce because a break of any length could reset the clock and allow a driver to comply with TLC rules while still working what they called “excessive hours.”
According to the TLC, “Fatigued driving has been found to impair driving ability. Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the National Sleep Foundation, and the US Federal Highway Administration concludes that long work hours, both daily and weekly, lead to acute fatigue and reduced sleep, and over time, may lead to cumulative fatigue. For drivers, this means slowed reaction times and a reduced ability to assess situations quickly, potentially leading to driver errors and a higher risk of crashing.”
The rule includes the following restrictions:
- Prohibits FHV and Taxi drivers from picking up passengers for more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period
- Prohibits FHV and Taxi drivers from picking up passengers for more than 72 hours in any seven-day period
- Resets the 12-hour clock for a driver after any period in which he or she has gone eight consecutive hours without pickups
- Prohibits bases from dispatching a driver to do pickups in more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period (unless that base has stopped dispatching the driver trips for eight or more consecutive hours) and prohibits bases from dispatching a driver to do pickups in more than 72 hours in any seven-day period
The TLC contends that only a small percentage of NYC FHV drivers typically drive more than 12 hours per day and even fewer typically drive more than 72 hours in a week.