City launches cell phone cabbies ban

January 29, 2010 3:01:22 PM PST
The rules of the road are changing for taxi and limo drivers Friday. They'll have to stay off their cell phones while driving or face a hefty fine -- and possibly the loss of their license.

Cab drivers were out at Penn Station overnight and this morning talking about these new rules, which take affect as of Friday.

The TLC is actually cracking down on cab and limo drivers. They will not be able to use any electronic cell phone device while driving passengers in the car.

"It's actually kind of good because I hate whenever they're on the cell phone," one passenger said.

"I'm glad that they're doing this. Sometimes I don't know if they're talking to me or if they are on the phone," said another passenger.

The cab drivers have a mixed reaction on these rules.

"My wife works in the city and if something happens to her, she calls. I mean, I understand you cannot be talking on the phone for nonsense for a half-hour, that's not making sense. But if there is an emergency, you should be able to answer the phone," said one driver.

The fines for the drivers who violate these rules are hefty:

  • It's $200 for the first time a cop stops you, even if you have a bluetooth device. That is still not allowed.
  • For the second offense, it will cost another $200 and a 30-day license suspension.
  • After the third offense, your TLC license will be revoked completely and another $200 fine.

    So cabbies, if you need to talk on the phone, pull over to the side of the road. That's the only thing you can do, starting today.