We have previously written about serious taxi cab accidents and the Chicago cab drivers whose tickets and citations disappear, over and over again. Now, at long last, it appears that action is being taken to correct this dangerous problem.
This week, Rahm Emanuael, Chicago’s mayor, announced that the city is taking steps to tackle the problem of dangerous cab drivers head-on. Mayor Emanuel’s cab driver reforms include a system for the real-time monitoring of when cab drivers receive traffic tickets.
City workers will now make a regular practice of monitoring the moving violations database kept by the Illinois Secretary of State. Thus, the city will be able to act immediately to remove a dangerous cab driver from the road, rather than waiting until the driver’s annual license renewal date comes around.
This will also permit the city to know immediately when these tickets are issued – even if they are later thrown out in court. As our top Chicago automobile accident attorneys have previously noted, cab driver tickets are thrown out at rates far higher than those of regular drivers. This is largely because cab drivers contest their tickets in court at far higher rates, and the police officers who wrote the tickets are tasked to more crucial duties and hearings – leaving Chicago judges with no testimony on the moving violation, and often no choice but to throw out the tickets.
This reform will be paired will another measure: a cooperative effort of city workers and the Chicago Police Department aimed at adding more moving violations to the city’s “watch list” – infractions that will be monitored in the database.
The mayor’s reforms also include placing limits on the number of hours which cab drivers may work each day. Driver hours will now cap out at 12 driving hours within a 24-hour period. City cab drivers will be required to install CPS and taximeter devices which will allow the city to audit cab companies and ensure that this limit is being observed.
Companies whose drivers violate the rules will face fines up to $5000. Drivers will also be required to participate in behind-the-wheel training in order to keep and maintain a Chicago cab license.
In announcing the reforms, mayor Emanuel emphasized that the city’s goal in increasing safety on Chicago streets. He also candidly admitted that the city has fallen down on the job of mandating cab driver safety in the past.
The city’s reforms also touch on cab-related issues not directly tied to safety. These include new standards for fuel efficiency in all Chicago cabs. The collection of reforms aims to “change that whole experience” of riding in a Chicago cab.
Our top Chicago personal injury attorneys are pleased to see the city taking aggressive action to stop dangerous cab drivers. We would have liked, however, to see the city taking even more aggressive action. We hope that these reforms are a first step in the journey towards safer Chicago cabs, and safer Chicago roads.
If you have any questions about a serious accident involving a taxi cab, please give us a call us at 312-527-4500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary consultation. You can also learn more by following us on Twitter, reviewing our LinkedIn or Avvo.com pages, and by reviewing our website.