At its December 2 commission meeting, the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) approved processes that give TLC-Licensed Drivers additional rights and protections if a Licensee is arrested for a suspected crime. The processes also clarify and strengthen existing summary suspension practices.
In the rare instance a TLC-Licensed Drivers is arrested for a suspected crime, the TLC automatically suspends their TLC License. The suspensions are temporary while the Licensee receives due process, in the interest of public safety.
TLC-Licensed Drivers have the right to challenge suspensions before an Administrative Law Judge. The new rules specify various factors that an Administrative Law Judge can consider when assessing whether a suspended driver poses a public safety risk, allowing judges to make a more individualized review and examine the Licensee’s history holistically. This includes criminal history and driving record, community standing, the specifics of the alleged crime, and anything else that would support lifting the suspension.
The new rules also allow TLC Licensees to request a Summary Suspension Hearing any time after a suspension and creates shorter timelines for the Administrative Law Judge’s written recommendations and the issuance of a decision. This benefits the small number of TLC-Licensed Drivers who face summary suspension by affording them additional rights and a faster decision, allowing them to drive for-hire again more quickly.
At its December meeting, the TLC also approved rules to increase the number of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles on the road by expanding the pool of vehicles eligible to receive money from the Taxi Improvement Fund (TIF). The TIF provides money to help Medallion Owners with the costs of purchasing and maintaining Yellow Taxis. It also provides a $1 per trip payment to TLC-Licensed Drivers of Wheelchair Accessible Yellow cabs.
The Commission also approved rules to allow the TLC to formally align its regulations with City Council legislation that went into effect in November 2018 that reduced some penalties for unauthorized street hails. At the same time, TLC has increased Enforcement against illegal street hails below 96th Street.
Penalties for illegal street hails remain significant: $500 for the first violation, $750 for the second violation, and a third violation results in license revocation.
Source: NYC TLC