It was only months ago that Uber, the popular ride-sharing company, decided to reduce the number of hours driven by its NYC drivers to 12-hour shifts. Now, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) of New York City has announced its intention to implement a similar policy.
Last week, the New York TLC introduced new regulations that would restrict cab drivers’ work hours to a maximum of 12 hours in any 24-hour time period. Additionally, NYC taxi drivers are forbidden to work in excess of 72 hours in any given week. Moreover, after working for 12 hours, drivers would be required to take an eight-hour break.
The new rules that address fatigued driving were prompted by a tragic auto accident that occurred in November 2015. The fatal car accident involved a sleep-deprived taxi driver who struck and killed 88-year-old Luisa Rosario on the Upper West Side in Manhattan.
Under current NYC regulations, cab drivers are only permitted to work 12-hour shifts. However, drivers can still work without a lengthy break because they only need to stop driving for a few minutes before getting back on the roadway. Basically, current laws allow New York City taxi drivers to rest for just a few minutes in order for that rest period to be considered “time between shifts.” The latest proposal from the TLC will impact black cars, limousines and all other for-hire vehicles in NYC.
In making its decision, the TLC relied on research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Sleep Foundation. Safety experts with these agencies found that extended work hours can cause severe fatigue for drivers. This is a serious problem because motorists who are tired have slower reaction times and exhibit poor decision-making skills, both of which can be perilous on the road.
In addition, TLC mentioned that after being awake for 24 hours, a driver’s level of impairment is equivalent to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10, which is higher than the legal limit in New York.
For additional information, check out the HuffingtonPost.com article, “NYC Takes Action after Drowsy Can Driver Kills 88-Year-Old.”
If you were injured in an accident involving a negligent taxi or limousine driver, or any other vehicle driver, you need to speak with a qualified personal injury and auto accident lawyer. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Proner and Proner today for a free consultation.