This proposed rule amends a rule that the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) adopted in July 2016 to address the risks of fatigued driving. The proposed rule incorporates feedback from the industry since the adoption of the initial rule. The proposed rule also adds new reporting requirements for the for-hire vehicle (FHV) sector that will support the regulation of fatigued driving and assist TLC with enforcement initiatives in other areas.
Long hours driving on the road can lead to fatigue and reduced sleep, and compounded over time, may result in chronic fatigue. For drivers, this means slowed reaction times and a reduced ability to assess situations quickly, increasing the danger of driver errors and the risk of crashing. Additionally, research has shown that being awake for 18 hours results in impairment equal to driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI), and that being awake for 24 hours results in impairment equal to 1.25 times the threshold for driving while intoxicated (DWI).
Although almost all TLC-licensed drivers do not drive an excessive number of hours, TLC recognized that a small number does and that some drivers may be tempted to work dangerously long hours. Therefore, in support of the City’s Vision Zero initiative to reduce traffic fatalities, TLC adopted rules in July 2016 to address the risks of fatigued driving.
Before establishing in these rules the maximum number of hours that licensed taxi and FHV drivers may work in any day or week, TLC analyzed available trip data, including FHV trip data. TLC used pickup times as a proxy for hours worked because that was the only data that FHV bases were required to report.