Would you trust a cab driver using a cell phone?

New York City cabbies have been banned from using cellphones for a decade — even the hands-free type, putting the city a step ahead of state law. But the stringent rules remain almost entirely unenforced, even amid research that shows drivers who talk on cellphones are four times as likely to cause a crash. Read more... http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/04/nyregion/04taxi.html
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uptowngirl Dec 30, 2009
Its actually quite hard to find a cabbie in NYC who is not on the phone when he is driving. They almost always are on the phone though I have to say they all seem to use the hands free device. How in the world are you to find a cabbie who is not on the phone? do you have to ask them to switch off when you get in? can you even do so?
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hhusted Dec 30, 2009
Actually, according to a new law, cab drivers are not allowed to be on their cell phones when they are transporting passengers. They can't even use their wireless device. If you happen to find a cab driver violating this, you can get his name and report him to the cab company. I don't bother to do this because most of the time I am going to a local place so I am not in the cab long enough. Plus, I don't like to see someone get fired because of one mistake. The economy in NYC is bad enough without putting a cab driver out of work.
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uptowngirl Dec 31, 2009
I agree with you most of the New York cabbies are immigrants who are trying to earn a decent wage so that they can send money home to family. I wouldn't want to deprive someone of their livelihood.I guess I would only really complain if I thought that the driver was being especially negligent most times they seem to navigate traffic quite easily maybe they have like most of us become very skilled at multi-tasking.!
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BroadwayBK Dec 31, 2009
I agree with uptowngirl. It's increasingly rare that a cabbie is not on the phone, but they often use Bluetooth devices. I'm not sure if that makes it okay.... I also drive in the city and it's never appreciated when other drivers aren't paying attention because they're on the phone instead of giving the road their full attention. And driving in the city requires much more of a person's attention then driving in other places - there is always a lot going on.

I would definitely complain if it seemed like a cab driver was putting anyone in danger because they were driving and chatting on a cell.
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Uraniumfish Jan 02, 2010
Think of how insanely boring it is to drive around for so many hours. Drivers have my sympathy because it is a dangerous and unrewarding job in many ways. That said, I would really rather they don't talk on the phone when I'm there and focus on the road. Anyway, drivers who make even a tiny effort at engaging me in conversation get a much better tip from me, so perhaps better earnings can be enough of an incentive for them to police themselves on this one.
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hhusted Jan 02, 2010
That may be true regarding how one tips a driver. When I get into a cab, I just want to get where I am going and get there as fast as possible. I seldom talk to cab drivers when in the cab. I just tell them where to go and watch things till I get to where I have to be. When I pay the fare, I usually tip the driver a couple of bucks more than the meter. At Chirstmas time, I gave one cab driver a $5 tip.
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Uraniumfish Jan 02, 2010
Well I'm no chatterbox when I'm in a cab, but I get uncomfortable if the driver's, like, arguing with his girlfriend when I'm there. I'm just saying, I pay a dollar or two more when I feel comfortable, which can also mean driving in silence. But I definitely shave off a dollar or two from the normal tip amount when the driver's too obviously engaged in his private life in front of me.
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ajadedidealist Jan 21, 2010
Do I trust a cabbie when NOT talking on a cell phone? I'm kidding, of course, but I tend to have terrifying cab rides as a matter of course. Lately, I was in a cab with a cabbie on his ride and he not only got my address wrong (because he was too busy talking on the phone), but then almost didn't stop at my street. Was scary - actually - when he rushed in the wrong direction TWICE I thought something was wrong!
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uptowngirl Jan 21, 2010
Today that is 1/21/2010 the NYPD announced a crackdown on cell phone use when driving.http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local-beat/NYPD-Cell-Phone-Crackdown-82194192.html
Of course this pertains to handheld cell phones and doesnt mention hands free devices that most cab drivers use. Apparently the NYPD issues an average of 600 summons in a day wonder if they will soon come after texting while crossing the road pedestrians as I am guilty of that crime and need to stop at this instant.
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uptowngirl Feb 01, 2010
When I was coming home in a cab on Thursday night on 1/28/2010 I heard on the radio that a cell phone ban had been instituted even for hands free devices -http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local&id=7245874
Well this issue has received much press coverage but I dont think the cabbies seem to be complying with the ban. Yesterday I was in and out of cabs and a couple of the cabbies were continuing to make and receive calls using bluetooth devices. Have you noticed this as well?
http://gothamist.com/2010/02/01/are_cab_drivers_complying_with_cell.php
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BroadwayBK Feb 01, 2010
I haven't been in a cab in which the driver was talking on a head set/cell phone for quite some time.... But then I seem to be taking cabs less and less as it gets colder and colder.
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ajadedidealist Feb 02, 2010
Do you guys have luck asking cabbies not to use cell phones while driving? I find that when I request it, they tend to look at me like I'm from Mars and ignore me. Perhaps it's just bad luck!
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uptowngirl Feb 02, 2010
@ajadedidealist I haven't yet asked any of them to stop using a cell phone, I was just surprised that they were continuing to use them quite openly in spite of the recent ban.
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hhusted Feb 02, 2010
One day they will use their cell phone and stop at a light where a cop will be located. Then maybe the driver will learn to stop using it when the driver gets a ticket.
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