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Previous Issues
& Select Articles

November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
Summer 2002
May 2002
April 2002


The NYC Budget
& the Fare Increase

Why NYC Cabbies
Are The Best In
The USA !

TLC Chairman Meets
With Drivers




9/11 Memorial Taxicab
Medallion Unveiled

Disability Advisory Board Meets - September 13

What is Fare?

Taxi Drivers Speak Out

We Need A
Rate Increase Now !!!

Hotel Doormen

No More Hack License Suspensions
Before A Hearing !

First Taxi Industry
Job Expo in NYC!

Back to Committee for
Taxi Safety Home Page

The Voice of the NYC Transportation Industry - February 2003
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - click here !
TLC introduces HealthStat health insurance programs

TLC Safe Drivers Program: Insurance Discounts
A Reality for 2003

by David Pollack

The New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission is making history regarding the insurance industry. For the first time in the United States, a city agency has enlisted insurance companies to participate in a safe driver program, which will result in a fifteen percent (15%) insurance premium discount for those who qualify.

The purpose of the safe driver program is to ìidentify TLC licensed drivers who have met specific experience, training and safe driving criteria.î These unique ìTLC Safe Driversî will benefit from their impeccable records by receiving a reduction in their insurance premiums.

İChairman of the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission Matthew W. Daus hosted a meeting including Insurance Company Presidents (as well as two insurance companies representatives that are ìon the fenceî about writing taxis in NYC).

American Transit Insurance Company President Edward McGettigan and Hereford Insurance Company President Neil Greenbaum, along with Vice President Annie Weinstein, confirmed the willingness of cooperation between the TLC and taxi liability carriers.

Industry leaders from all segments of the NYC transportation industry were also in attendance including Vincent Sapone - Managing Director of Lomto, David Pollack - Executive Director of the Committee for Taxi Safety, Jean Barrett - Executive Director of the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of trade, Victor Dizengoff ñ Executive Director of the BCAC, and Steven Solarz ñ President of the Para-Transit Association.

Matthew W. Daus introduced all attendees and stressed his commitment to insuring that the TLC Safe Driver program is successful. Chairman Daus has been in close contact with State Insurance Superintendent Gregory Serio to make sure that the ìTLC Safe Drivers Programî premium discount becomes a reality for this yearís insurance renewal. The TLC estimates that approximately 6,000 yellow cab drivers and 5,600 for-hire vehicle drivers will meet the minimum requirements for certification. Yes, of course you must be certified. Did you think this discount was for everyone?

Assistant Commissioner of Finance and Administration Peter Tumminelli explained the driver and vehicle criteria in detail. If a driver meets ALL criteria, he/she can then apply for safe driver certification with the TLC ìon-lineî in order to take the specialized 6-hour course.

Deputy Commissioner of Policy and Programs Barbara Schechter outlined the curriculum of the specialized 6-hour training class, which will be offered at all three taxi schools. Terry Gelber -Executive Director of Master Cabbie Institute and Mr. Shaqeel ñ Director of the HANAC Taxi Institute represented the taxi schools. The specialized course will also be given at LaGuardia College Taxi Academy.

You need to understand that, in situations where there is more than one driver on any taxi, ALL NAMED DRIVERS must be certified as TLC Safe Drivers or your discount will be invalidated. If a garage has all their taxis listed as unspecified drivers, then every driver must be certified as a TLC Safe Driver to qualify.

Here is what you need to know about qualifying for the program.


İİİ 1. A driver must be licensed by the TLC as a taxicab, for-hire vehicle, Para-transit or commuter van driver for at least three (3) years;
İİİİ 2. A driver must have submitted to a drug test within the past twelve (12) months;
İİİİ 3. A driver may NOT have any chargeable accidents on his/her DMV record for at least thirty-nine (39) months;
İİİİ 4. A driver may NOT have accumulated more than four (4) DMV points (prior to any approved point reduction credit) within the past twenty-four (24) months;
İİİİ 5. A driver may NOT have DWI , DWAI or DUI convictions within the last five (5) years;
İİİİ 6. A driver must have completed an approved specialized training program within the past twenty-four (24) months
İİİİ 7. A driver also must have completed a defensive driving course within the past thirty-six (36) months.

İİİİİ 1. Operation of a motor vehicle with a suspended orrevoked DMV license;
İİ İİİ2. Operation of a vehicle for hire with out a TLC (or other required local) license;
İİİİİ 3. Unlicensed operation of any motor vehicle;
İİİİİ 4. Solicitation or acceptance of any unlawful street hail;
İİİİİ 5. Use of a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle or a vehicle for hire;
İİİİİ 6. Reckless driving.


To qualify for an insurance discount, a vehicle registrant must meet the following qualifications:

  1. The vehicle may not be operated for hire by any driver other than the driver holding a ìTLC Safe Driverî certification less than twelve (12) months old.
  2. The vehicle must be no more than five (5) model years old (except in cases of yellow medallion mini-vans or CNG taxis)
  3. The vehicle owner must not have any lapse of insurance coverage during the past twenty-four (24) months.
  4. The vehicle must submit to DMV safety inspections at least three (3) times each year (yellow cabs DMV and TLC inspection cycle allowed)

 M.I.S. Director Tony Taylor proposed the transfer of data be conducted in as simple a way as possible. The TLC may start by using e-mails, but will develop a site for the taxi industry to login to, that will list pools of qualified drivers.


  1. Application is submitted online or by U.S. Mail
  2. Application is reviewed by the CD/PV unit and run through the driver criteria program
  3. If the licensee passes the review he/she is sent a letter explaining why he/she did not qualify
  4. The taxi schools will notify the TLC by e-mail once the licensee has successfully completed the safety course. At this point the licensee is certified as a ìTLC Safe Driverî. This information will be sent electronically to avoid any possibility of fraud.
  5. Once the TLC has been notified that the licensee has successfully completed this safety course, the TLC will electronically forward this information to the participating insurance companies to avoid any possibility of fraud.

Deputy Commissioner of Legal Affairs, Peter Mazer, fielded questions after the meeting and stated there may be some minor changes to the program (as listed above). Both Mazer and Chairman Daus stated another goal of the program was to give insurance carriers (that do not write insurance for taxis in NYC) a reason to now write insurance for these safe taxi drivers.İİİ

Now that the entire process is completed, the insurance companies will issue a seven percent (7%) insurance discount on the bodily injury and property damage portion of the insurance policy for the first year. If the TLC Safe Driver continues his/her eligibility through the first year, than an additional eight percent (8%) discount will go into effect the second year for a total of fifteen percent (15%).

For over two years, different factions of the NYC transportation industry have complained about the high cost of insurance, time wasted in Long Island City, payoffs to dispatchers etc. It takes a courageous Chairman to enlist insurance companies for a premium discount and deal with the State Insurance Department, all for the benefit of New York City Taxi Drivers. Mathew W. Daus has proven himself as a fine representative of what the taxi industry needs: someone who listens to the needs of the one hundred thousand licensed drivers, and listens to recommendations regarding electronically placing drivers on rate cards, medallion purchasing enhancements, and time-saving techniques for the Long Island City branch. He has the guts to enact new programs for the benefit of the entire taxi industry.İ The Committee for Taxi Safety appreciates all of Chairman Dausí hard work regarding this insurance discount program. Chairman Dausí commitment in making the NYC taxi industry the best in the world is only surpassed by the positive actions he has taken for the benefit of the NYC taxi industry.

The Rate Hike:

New Credit Card
Taximeters Approved for
Pilot Program
Cafe at JFK
A Winter Road Story

Road Tips

Winter Tips

Top 5 Ways To Make Your Car
Run Forever !

Taxi Photo Gallery

Cell Phone Batteries
Can Zap
EZ-Pass !

We have been getting reports of EZ-Pass batteries dying. It seems that certain cell phone frequencies activate your EZ-Pass battery. This in turn drains the power of the battery and causes the EZ-Pass to be useless until the EZ-Pass tag exchanged itself. It was thought that only tolls could activate the EZ-Pass battery, but apparently not.

So, STAY OFF THE CELL PHONE and you will not have this battery problem!