What’s new with the TLC’s fatigued driving rules?

04 Jan 2017

This was originally posted at https://medium.com/@DrivingGuild/whats-new-with-the-tlc-s-fatigued-driving-rules-4e6aef4f9de6#.xo7v1z1rn

Since this post was published, the TLC has passed the proposed rules:

On Thursday, February 2nd, the Taxi and Limousine Commission passed revised fatigued driving prevention rules. Under the new rules, TLC will only count the time when a driver has a passenger in the vehicle. Drivers will be limited to 10 hours of passenger time in each 24-hour period and 60 hours of passenger time each week.

The earliest that TLC will issue summonses under these rules is August 15, 2017. Our goal is to reduce risky driving behavior. Before any summonses are issued, we will provide an extensive education and outreach campaign to drivers on the risks of fatigued driving and how to stay within the daily and weekly limits.

This is a message from the IDG organizing committee (a committee of member-activists that are drivers) to fellow For-Hire Vehicle drivers in NYC.

Tomorrow, January 5th, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) is having a public hearing on a changed version of the fatigued driving rule. Our position on the rule in June (when the rule was first proposed) was that the TLC should work toward pay protections for working drivers like you, before regulating the time you can spend on the road. You may find our letter to the TLC here.

Since then, the TLC has moved forward on surveying drivers to collect accurate data on how much drivers are actually making after expenses. They have also changed the proposed fatigued driving rules to try to make them much more friendly to drivers.

The TLC even came to the December driver’s committee meeting to try to understand your perspective and answer our questions and concerns.

The Independent Drivers Guild does not have a position on this new rendition of the rule. We did poll members that attended meeting with the TLC, and those members were slightly in favor of the rule. While there is not enough consensus for the IDG to take a formal position, we did have the opportunity to understand the rule much more clearly. We hope this helps with the confusion and misinformation about this rule.

This is what we know about the proposed fatigued driving rules and what we discussed:

THE TIME CHANGED

The way the TLC is counting the hours has changed. The TLC is looking to encourage bases and drivers to not spend more than ten hours with a passenger. To be clear: Only the time spent while you are WITH A PASSENGER IN YOUR CAR counts toward the rule. Time spent waiting or driving around WITHOUT a passenger WILL NOT count toward the ten hours.

As an example: A few nights ago, a committee member, Rudy, spent 10 hours active on the app, but only had 5 hours and 12 minutes with riders in the car. Only five hours would be counted toward the rule in that case.

WHY DOES THE TLC WANT TRIP DATA?

The more relevant question is: Why is Uber so afraid of the TLC getting this data?

The proposed driver fatigue rules include the collection of For-Hire Vehicle (FHV) drop-off information (location and date/time) in addition to the pick-up information that bases are already giving to the TLC. Any trip data TLC provides to the public does not contain any driver or vehicle license numbers, and trip location information would provide neighborhoods, not specific addresses. As reported by Vice News, it looks like this:

TLC getting drop-off location is the only way to ensure the data TLC receives from bases is accurate, keeping bases accountable to their drivers. This information is the only way the TLC can ensure that only a driver’s time with passengers is counted, and the data will help TLC investigate fare disputes between drivers, passengers, and companies.

You may find all the details of the fatigued driving rules here. And although the Guild is not taking a formal position, you are encouraged to voice yours.

The TLC is holding a public hearing on the proposed rule at 10am on January 5, 2017. The hearing will be in the hearing room at 33 Beaver Street — 19th Floor, New York, NY 10004. Anyone may comment on the proposed rules by:

• Mail. You can mail written comments to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, Office of Legal Affairs, 33 Beaver Street — 22nd Floor, New York, New York 10004.

• Fax. You can fax written comments to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, Office of Legal Affairs, at 212–676–1102.

• Email. You can email written comments to tlcrules@tlc.nyc.gov.

• Website. You can submit comments to the Taxi and Limousine Commission through the NYC rules Web site at www.nyc.gov/nycrules.

• By Speaking at the Hearing. Anyone who wants to comment on the proposed rule at the public hearing must sign up to speak. You can sign up before the hearing by calling 212–676–1135 You can also sign up in the hearing room before the hearing begins. You can speak for up to three minutes.

Thank you for reading.

In Solidarity,
IDG Organizing Committee Members


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