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TLC cracking down on cabbies with driving infractions

The city has begun cracking down on rogue cabbies, increasingly suspending or revoking the hack licenses of those with multiple driving infractions, amNewYork has learned.

Within the past six months, the Taxi & Limousine Commission switched to an automated system to monitor the cabbies’ moving violations, allowing the agency to better track offending drivers. So far this year, a whopping 1,132 of the city’s 48,600 taxi drivers had their licenses suspended or revoked, compared to 32 in 2009.

“There were plenty of holes in the system,” said TLC Commissioner David Yassky, referring to how the agency previously had to comb through the infractions by hand.

“We’re more capable then we were a year ago,” Yassky said.

For some cab riders it’s a welcomed change late in coming.

“There should be some sort of quality control,” said Simon Horwith, 35, of Park Slope. The TLC’s “purpose is to regulate drivers and maintain safety.”

However, advocates for the drivers argue that police may be too trigger happy with ticketing.

David Pollack, editor of a taxi industry publication said that cabbies have been punished for minor offenses, such as cutting across traffic outside of Penn Station to get riders going in the right direction. Drivers can get their licenses revoked after receiving 10 moving violation points within a 15-month period.

“Enforcement is a good thing,” Pollack said. “But over-enforcement can break one’s spirit.”

Katherine Lieb contributed to this story.

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Suspended or revoked hack licenses due to driving infractions:
2008: 62
2009: 32
2010*: 1,132

*Through May
Source: Taxi & Limousine Commission

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