Vision Zero- the Mayor has no Vision

New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio said in an interview Monday that he would categorize drunk driving “that doesn’t lead to any other negative outcome” a minor offense. This is absolutely absurd. Is Mayor de Blasio serious about this. Drunk driving a minor offense so long as no one gets hurt!!!! I guess all that really matters to Mayor Bill de Blasio is that traffic accident statistics go down. The means to achieve such are irrelevant to him. In other words, driver fatigue rules look good on paper, but in reality all they will do is add window dressing for Vision Zero. To say that drunk driving a minor offense so long as no one gets hurt is kin to dying that armed robbery is a minor offense so long as no one gets hurt. Driving drunk or walking into a bank with a gun, both have potential to cause massive harm and are akin to a scourge on society, but according to this Mayor, no big deal.

How about the big deal of limiting the ability of for-hire vehicle drivers to make a living. Limiting the number of hours they can work without any proof, statistics, studies or data (data and/or studies that apply to New York City) is an absolute outrage. For-hire vehicle drivers are doing the best they can to make a living in this day in age. considering the state of the market right now, that i a hard feat to do. the market is flooded with part-time Uber drivers, thus limiting the amount of jobs a regular full time professional driver can perform. Less money for drivers means they are going to seek a job elsewhere. NYC will be left with nothing but part time in experienced drivers. Would you rather be driven by an experienced driver who knows how to manage their time and fatigue or a part time inexperienced driver who knows how to manage neither.

How many NYC taxi medallions need to be foreclosed upon until the Mayor understands that limiting the number of hours a for-hire vehicle driver can operate is not going to be good for local small businesses in the outer boroughs of NYC, is not going to be good for persons who drive people for a living, is not going to be good for the ability of drivers to continue to service those persons most in need of transportation, is not going to enable the driver to make his/her car payments, etc, etc. In other words, limiting the ability of drivers' ability to operate is not going to be good for the consumer or the the economy.

If the Mayor or the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission had some empirical data or studies to support their arbitrary time limit, then there may be nothing to complain about, as we are all in agreement that limiting accidents in NYC is a laudable goal. But limiting drivers ability to work and make a living based upon no proof of a problem and no proof that the means sought to be imposed by the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission are the best means to prevent accidents wholly unreasonable.

It is clear that the Mayor and the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission are more concerned with what looks good to the public rather than what is good to the public. Accidents in NYC will never reach zero. It is a fact of life, just like crime in NYC. It will always be there. We can try to limit it, but both will be there. Police don't go after criminals and solve crimes without proof, evidence an/or data. They don't operate based upon a hunch. The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission should not be allowed to make rules based upon a hunch either.

The Mayor's comments about drunk driving not being a big deal so long as no one gets hurt is proof that the Mayor is not really concerned with limiting accidents, but simply with the appearance that he is doing something to limit accidents. That is fine, but before you take away the ability of a for-hire vehicle driver to make a living, perhaps the Mayor should consider having some proof or evidence that the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission proposed rules on driver fatigue be based upon some proof or evidence. Otherwise, the for-hire vehicle driver is being hurt and punished more than the drunk driver who does not cause any accidents or harm to others. Think about it. It is not just the end result that matters. The means used to achieve those results are often the difference between a well executed plan that leads to good results and a poorly executed decision that causes harm to many without any justifiable basis.