Following a recent bill mandating sexual harassment training for taxi drivers in New York City, the Taxi and Limousine Commission is beefing up how they identify sexual contact and harassment by announcing more serious penalties for predatory drivers.
Right now, according to the Daily News, any kind of harassment or abuse is filed under one rule, which, if broken, results in a $350-1,000 fine and a month-long suspension. However, the upcoming changes demand that drivers can’t have “any conversation related to sexual acts and sexual contact,” as well as making remarks related to “sexual conduct, gender, physical appearance, expressing a desire to see or touch another person’s body or expressing a desire to enter into any type of relationship with another person.”
If you’ve taken cabs in New York City, chances are your driver’s asked about your relationship status, given you a questionable “compliment” or worse.
The TLC defines sexual contact as “any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person” clothed or unclothed…. [and] also warns cabbies to keep their bodily fluids to themselves.”
Allan Fromberg, the TLC spokesperson, says these new rules are just helping everyone keep their hands, thoughts, behaviors and “innocent flirting” to themselves.
Earlier this month, City Council members Laurie A. Cumbo and Helen K. Rosenthal proposed a new bill to stave off the rise in sexual assaults among cab riders between 2014 and 2015. The bill would require drivers to learn the “laws and criminal penalties against sexual assault, and how to respond if they witness a possible assault,” and would apply to yellow, green, black, Uber and Lyft drivers.
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