David Pollack was able to speak with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly on behalf of yellow taxi drivers and the Committee for Taxi Safety regarding ILLEGAL STREET HAILS. He will write a follow-up article on the illegal street hail issue and NYPD in the future. But for now, drivers have something else to celebrate. Finally taxi drivers will have the same protection that bus drivers and train conductors have throughout the state. The New York State Assembly and Senate has passed the DRIVERS PROTECTION ACT. This bill, will classify assaults on taxi drivers as felonies with penalties of up to 25 years in jail. (See new law at end of story.) Drivers can now be less fearful of those passengers who have preyed on drivers without concern of any repercussions for their harmful actions

Assemblyman Rory Lancman is chairman of the Assembly Subcommittee on Workplace Safety and author of the Taxi Driver Protection Act. “Taxi driv- ers are thirty times more likely to be killed on the job than other workers, and New York City houses the largest taxi driver industry in the nation.” “These men and women bravely perform a vital service for our state and they deserve our respect and protection. It is time to pass the Taxi Driver Protection Act and make assaulting a taxi driver a felony.” Assembly- man Lancman told me in Albany, that the part of the law he likes the best, is the sign that will be required inside every yellow cab stating: “WARNING: ASSAULTING A TAXI DRIVER IS PUNISHABLE BY UP TO TWENTY-FIVE YEARS IN PRISON”

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