NYC targets taxi speeds as part of ‘Vision Zero’ initiative

Sakkas Cahn & Weiss

New Yorkers understand that time is precious. As a result, NYC streets tend to be crowded, both night and day, with travelers quickly moving from one place to another. Instead of walking, biking and driving in a leisurely manner, New Yorkers tend to be fast-paced. Because time is indeed precious, it is understandable that New Yorkers move like there is none to waste.

However, this need for speed on the city’s crowded streets too often results in accidents that might otherwise be preventable if travelers slowed down. In particular, the rate of taxi accidents caused by speeding drivers on an annual basis is downright frightening.

In order to compel taxi drivers to slow down and in order to ultimately prevent accidents, the de Blasio administration is exploring ways to curb taxi speeding. The administration is seeking solutions to this problem as a part of its “Vision Zero” initiative aimed at eliminating vehicle accident fatalities within NYC.

So far, New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission has requested information on various advisory and anti-speed technologies. These various tools and systems may help to force speeding taxis to slow down and may help to warn drivers if they seem to be driving in fatigued or reckless ways.

The commission will ultimately analyze technologies presented by various industry representatives and consider whether it would benefit New Yorkers to require that one or more of them be used by taxi drivers. Even though many harried passengers would prefer that taxi drivers “Step on it!” it is important for the safety of all New Yorkers that these drivers slow down.

Source: The New York Times, “City Explores Ways to Curb Taxi Speeds,” Matt Flegenheimer, April 15, 2014

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