Proposed Bill Would Fine Unbuckled Taxi Riders in NYC

Taxi passengers who ride in the front of a cab in New York City could be subject to $100 fines if they're caught not wearing a seat belt under a proposed change to state law. 

The change is being proposed under Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero plan, which aims to eliminate traffic-related deaths and injuries in the city. Children under 16 years old riding in the cab would also have to wear a a seat belt under the proposal. 

If the bill is passed, police would ticket passengers, not drivers, if they're unbuckled in the front seat or if a child is unbuckled in the back.

Yellow cab company SLSJET, which employs 2,000 drivers and has a fleet of hundreds of cars, has already implemented some Vision Zero initiatives, like posting window stickers reminding drivers to look out for pedestrians. 

"I think it's a great idea, one of the best ideas I've heard in awhile from the mayor," general manager Kevin Sirota of the proposal.

He said it would reinforce existing safety initiatives in the yellow cab system. 

"When you step into a yellow cab in the city, you know you're getting a licensed driver, a car that's inspected every quarter and a driver that preaches safety first," said Sirota. 

The Taxi and Limousine Commission, which oversees cab drivers, said it's on board. Passengers also said it makes sense.

"I don't like to say I agree with the mayor on many things but on this I have to agree," said Jean Jarvis of Long Island City. 

"It's always good to be safe than sorry," said Ken Hall of midtown. 

The city will draft a proposal, then seek a sponsor to introduce the bill in Albany. 

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