A bill introduced this week by New York City Councilman Jimmy Vacca (D-Bronx) proposes the initiation of a pilot program to install black boxes, the same data-recording devices currently used to monitor planes and trains, in taxi cabs in New York City. If the pilot program is implemented, data collected from the black boxes will track the speed, stops and starts, and location of cabs on city roads.
While in its test phase, any data collected from the program would not be used to penalize cab drivers. However, the city may eventually decide to use black boxes to fine drivers or even to develop technology that would reduce fares or stop the meter from running if cabbies exceed the speed limit.
The motivation behind the bill is to deter taxi cab drivers from engaging in reckless driving as they ferry passengers around the city and hold them to the same standards as other drivers, thus keeping both taxi cab passengers and pedestrians on the street safe. The installation of black boxes in city taxis is similarly one of the proposals included in Mayor Bill De Blasio’s “Vision Zero” plan to eradicate NYC traffic deaths by 2024.