City Hall, April 16, 2008 – At today’s Stated Council meeting, the members of the City will vote on comprehensive legislation to give taxi and livery cab drivers greater and fairer protections during the dispute process administrated by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) Administrative Tribunal. The Council will also vote on a resolution calling on the State Assembly to pass legislation allowing State pharmacists to provide flu and pneumonia immunization.
TAXI AND LIMOUSINE COMMISSION DUE PROCESS LEGISLATION
The Council will vote on comprehensive legislation to give taxi and livery cab drivers greater protections during the dispute process administrated by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) Administrative Tribunal. This legislation would widen the scope of the dispute process by requiring the TLC to take greater steps to produce complaining witnesses as well as expand the timeframe in which drivers can respond if they miss a hearing. Additionally, this legislation would elevate the circumstances in which drivers’ operating licenses may be revoked without a hearing.
Currently, drivers may be found guilty of complaints filed against them based solely on written statements by complaining witnesses. This legislation requires the TLC to take greater steps to produce complaining witnesses through the use of videoconferencing or teleconferencing. Additionally, this legislation will require the TLC to show that a driver is a direct and significant threat to public health and safety before it can suspend his or her license without a hearing.
“Taxi and livery cab drivers are some of the hardest working New Yorkers in this City,” said Speaker Quinn. “And for these drivers, every minute behind the wheel means more income to support their families. So, when complaints are brought against them, they should be allowed the fairest process we can give them. We want to take every step to protect them while also protecting the safety of their passengers and other drivers who share the City’s roadways.”
“This legislation is intended to create a fair process for licensed drivers who are accused of violating TLC law, rules, and regulations,” said Council Member Miguel Martinez, lead sponsor of the bill. “This bill ensures that all licensed drivers are afforded due process.”
“The Council has received countless complaints about the TLC adjudication proceedings, namely unfair procedures and simply a lack of due process,” said Transportation Committee Chair John C. Liu. “This bill contains tangible protections negotiated between the Council and the TLC to allow drivers more opportunities to fairly defend themselves, especially when their licenses and livelihoods are on the line.”
PHARMACIST-ADMINISTERED IMMUNIZATION RESOLUTION
The Council will vote on a resolution calling on the State Assembly to pass a bill that would allow State pharmacists to provide immunizations for flu and pneumonia. New York is one of only three states that currently do not permit pharmacists to give vaccines. Allowing pharmacists to provide immunizations is highly likely to increases vaccination rates. Influenza and pneumonia are the third leading cause of death in New York City.