A bill introduced by the New York City Council will force every taxi and livery car in New York City to have a panic button that riders could use to hail police.
The legislation was prompted by a rape charge against a cab driver earlier this year, said the New York Daily News.
“With over 400,000 trips a day, keeping our taxi and for-hire passengers safe must be of the highest importance,” said City Council Transportation Committee Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan), who is sponsoring the measure along with Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo (D-Brooklyn).
The legislation would cover yellow, green and livery cabs, said the New York Daily News, and the cabs would have to be equipped with a back-seat distress button that would send an electronic message to the nearest precinct. In yellow cabs, the device could be activated through taxi TV screens.
A Taxi & Limousine Commission spokesman said the agency would review the bill. “The safety of our drivers and our passengers is a top priority of the TLC,” said spokesman Allan Fromberg.