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New York, NY - Aggressive Tactics by Undercover Agents Against Taxis Using Any Electronics

Published on: February 1, 2010 09:20 PM
By:  NY Post
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During a ride-along and stakeout the agents nailed three hacks who couldn't seem to get the message that their days of gabbing while driving were overDuring a ride-along and stakeout the agents nailed three hacks who couldn’t seem to get the message that their days of gabbing while driving were over

New York, NY - A crack undercover group of Taxi and Limousine Commission agents are the muscle behind the new, super-strict laws banning cabbies from using any electronics while driving.

During a ride-along and stakeout the agents nailed three hacks who couldn’t seem to get the message that their days of gabbing while driving were over.

Positioned outside Grand Central Terminal at 42nd Street and Park Avenue—a hot spot of yakking drivers who wait for people to emerge from the station, the team stood near an intersection and checked cabs as they rode by. Other times, the agents got in a cab and pretended to be regular riders, watching for illegal activity.

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By yesterday morning, a total of 142 summonses had been issued by TLC agents. The NYPD, which also is enforcing the new laws, yesterday said it hadn’t compiled its numbers yet.

Busted drivers immediately bemoaned the aggressive tactics.

“I’m not even using a cellphone! It’s an iPod!” wailed Inderjit Parihar, 29, who’s been driving for six years.

But the new laws forbid drivers from using any electronic device, even music players and GPS locators.

“They just want to bother us. I wasn’t even playing it,” Parihar went on, as he was issued a summons for $200 and a “refresher course” on the new rules.

Another violation will carry a similar fine and suspend his license. On his third strike, he’s out: His license is revoked.

Parihar said he knows a lot of cabbies who are hanging up their phones because they know the enforcement teams are doling out strict penalties.

“They’re not going to use the cells because it’s not worth losing your job,” he said.

A total of 13 drivers were hit with summonses Friday. TLC officials said they tried to warn the drivers before the crackdown began by handing out tens of thousands of fliers.

“We didn’t want to hammer the drivers. We wanted to go out in front of it and warn them. It’s not about money or numbers,” said TLC chief Matt Daus.

The agents—who remain anonymous—have to learn the tricks of the trade, too.

Some drivers are using the chilly weather as cover for hiding their hands-free devices, which are also banned under the new rules.

One hack was foiled trying to cover his hands-free device with a winter hat, sources said.

The agents saw the wire dangling from the driver’s ear, and he was promptly pulled over.


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Read Comments (6)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Feb 01, 2010 at 10:57 PM Anonymous Says:

Next are are us. They are looking desperately of new ways of making money. I think we need undercover agents to stop cops from talking on cell phones!

2

 Feb 01, 2010 at 11:18 PM Anonymous Says:

The city has been after cabbies for a long time..give them a break-their a bunch of nice guys trying to make an honest living

3

 Feb 02, 2010 at 12:09 AM jj Says:

the city is picking on them just to make money, if they are using a headset then they are not breaking the law

4

 Feb 02, 2010 at 07:38 AM Anonymous Says:

I've seen numerous cops both, the one driving and the next to him on the phone at the same time. There should be a way to police the police, if in factv it is so wrong. The cops are the chief violators. What example are they setting. If its wrong, and admittingly it is, then its wrong for everyone, included the yentas pushing the strollers in the street like nobodys business, weather on the sidewalk or especially while crossing the street.

5

 Feb 02, 2010 at 10:02 AM Anonymous Says:

I wonder what one of the above genius' would have to say if chas v'sholam a Jewish Mother & Child were struck by one of these cabbies who was not concentraing on driving and was busy yapping on the phone or playing with his GPS or Ipod. No the police are not perfect, but they are there to protect the public and their job is not the easiest. If you think that you can do a better job, why not try insead of mouthing off. It is very easy to criticize & complain, but you do have the option of doing something about it. You don't like it then change the law or become a cop and see how easy it is!

6

 Feb 02, 2010 at 02:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

I've seen numerous cops both, the one driving and the next to him on the phone at the same time. There should be a way to police the police, if in factv it is so wrong. The cops are the chief violators. What example are they setting. If its wrong, and admittingly it is, then its wrong for everyone, included the yentas pushing the strollers in the street like nobodys business, weather on the sidewalk or especially while crossing the street.

yeah, cops should be ticketed for talking or texting while they drive, but hey, what do you want from the woman on 13th avenue or avenue J, give them a break, let them do what they want, while pushing the strollers

7

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