CM Ruben Diaz Calls on the TLC to Make Sure New Regulations Protect Passengers from Dangerous For Hire Vehicle Drivers
CM Ruben Diaz, the chair of the City Council’s For Hire Vehicle Committee, is reacting strongly to the news that ride share company Lyft has refused to hand over driver information to the NYPD-even after it was demonstrated that the driver had masturbated in front of a 14-year-old girl. Diaz is demanding that the Taxi and Limousine Commission make sure that among the new rules it is proposing later this month, the TLC makes sure that its regulations will forcefully proscribe and penalize any failure of a ride share company to swiftly hand over crucial driver information to the police if an alleged crime has been committed. (
As CM Diaz says:
“For too long these ride share companies have acted as a law unto themselves. Taxi drivers are strictly monitored, and the new laws we passed and the mayor signed last August, finally gives the TLC the power to properly regulate these multi-billion-dollar companies. It is up to TLC Chair Meera Joshi to ensure that its new regulations prevent ride share companies from obstructing justice when crimes have been committed.”
This most recent incident is part of a continuing pattern of obstruction.
NYC-owing to the sheer volume of new Uber and Lyft drivers has been a prime location for incidents involving not only harm to passengers, but also to ensuing difficulties for the victims in getting Uber and Lyft to help identify the drivers and also to take responsibility for their behavior. Recently, one young woman was abducted by a Lyft driver and driven all over Queens in a terrifying ride:
“Fashion school student Alyssa Pfaus relies on cabs and car services to safely get around New York City but after what she described as a terrifying Lyft ride, the 19-year-old is reconsidering her choice of transportation. A recent Lyft ride from Union Square to the Upper East Side terrified the young student; she says the driver started getting personal, then took her on the wrong route when she didn't respond to him.” I-Team: Lyft Driver Removed After Taking NYC Fashion Student on Terrifying Ride | NBC New York )
This is especially true when you have an altercation with an Uber driver and, as a result of the altercation, you don’t complete your ride and get a receipt. That was exactly what happened to Abbey Ramsey one night when an Uber driver refused to take her a couple of blocks to her hotel and eventually dragged her alongside his car as she tried to extricate herself. She ended up in the hospital and in similar fashion to the other incidents, Uber refused to cooperate with the NYPD and identify the driver.( ) 
As CM Diaz says, the TLC now has the power to act and remedy this outrageous obstructionism. The FHV Committee will be closely watching the regulatory process to ensure that from now on no one-no matter how rich and powerful-is above the law.