The city's Taxi and Limousine Commission is rolling out a pilot program to test black-box-like data recorders in taxis, green cabs, and for-hire vehicles, officials announced yesterday. Along with the recorders, the 10 cars participating so far are also rigged up with camera systems wired to alert distracted drivers of upcoming hazards, and analytic software to allow the city to keep tabs on cabs, according to a TLC press release.
The program "will give us a bird's eye view of what is actually happening on the road and the mere presence of a black box will keep drivers mindful of the responsibility they have behind the wheel," taxi Commissioner Meera Joshi said in a statement. TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg told Capital New York the agency expects at least 40 vehicles to get the add-ons "relatively soon."
Bronx Councilman James Vacca pushed the bill to create the program and touted it as a component of Mayor de Blasio's Vision Zero road-safety initiative.
"We're out there trying to prevent accidents and make our streets safer," Vacca told CBS2.
Cabbies, in case anyone needed a reminder, are frequently doom-sowers involved in some of the city's most grisly crashes. Nobel-prize winning mathematician John Nash and his wife Alicia died in a taxi returning from Newark Liberty International Airport late last month.