According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, cab drivers and chauffeurs accounted for 53 of the 4,405 Americans killed on the job in 2013. Their workplace fatality rate is 130 percent higher than the national average. And in New York, eight cabbies were assaulted in 2014, according to data from the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.
That's why drivers rallied in front of City Hall on Tuesday afternoon, urging the City Council to pass a bill that would require that signs be posted in all city-licensed taxis to remind passengers that assaulting a cab driver could land them in jail. For a long time. The signs, as suggested by the council bill, would read:
ASSAULTING A TAXI OR LIVERY DRIVER IS PUNISHABLE BY UP TO 25 YEARS IN PRISON.
Mamnun Ul Haq, a co-founder of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which has lobbied the council to push for the signs, was joined at the rally by other drivers and councilmembers who supported the bill. He says the idea to propose the signs came to him in a hospital bed as he recovered from being stabbed on the job: "I can't even tell you how painful it was," he tells the Voice.More »