NYC Cab Drivers Get Bulletproof Vests

A dozen cab drivers in the Big Apple are getting bulletproof vests in an experiment to keep them safe during late-night shifts.
by | December 23, 2010 AT 3:00 PM
Bullets on the ground
[C]larity/Flickr CC

Earlier this month, New York City taxi driver Trevor Bell was shot multiple times by a passenger he picked up in Queens. New York Daily News reports that a new pilot project aims to lower the fatality rate of such attacks by providing drivers of New York City's livery cabs with bulletproof vests to wear while on the job. Livery cabs, unlike standard yellow cabs, cannot be hailed by people on the street and may only pick up passengers who call ahead, according to New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission regulations. Fernando Mateo, president of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, told NY Daily News that livery cab drivers are targeted for about 300 robberies a month in NYC. About a dozen drivers who work after-hours shifts in areas including South Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn will wear the vests - the same type worn by New York Police Department officers. The pilot's first 12 bulletproof vests were donated by a private security firm, and the NYSFTD is currently asking retired NYPD officers to donate their old vests.

Andy Kim
Andy Kim | Former Staff Writer