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The Reported App is Reducing Repeatedly Reckless Taxi Driving



reckless taxi driving

The best tool for preventing reckless drivers from repeatedly endangering pedestrians and cyclists is right there in your pocket.

Reported, the smartphone app that lets New Yorkers instantly report taxi drivers for breaking the rules, claims that of the 5,200 drivers reported to the Taxi and Limousine Commission through the app since 2016, only 4 percent have been the subject of a second complaint.

That’s just one of the findings from app creator Jeff Novich’s end-of-year review. Other findings include:

The vast majority of complaints to Reported come from cyclists reporting either a blocked bike lane (64 percent of complaints) or a blocked crosswalk (20 percent of complaints). Other large segments of the complaints were for reckless driving (11 percent) and for illegal parking (5 percent).

The Lower East Side led with the most complaints (819, or 27 percent of the total) with Downtown Brooklyn in second with 592 complaints.
Fifteen reports were issued for NYPD cars blocking bike lanes.

Eighty-three percent of drivers submitted to Reported had at least one driving violation on their record already. Most had been caught speeding in school zones or running red lights.
App-based for-hire vehicles such as Uber, Lyft and Via chalked up 78 percent of complaints against TLC vehicles, even though such vehicles represent only 71 percent of the overall taxi fleet. The remaining 22 percent of complaints were made against old school black car companies as Dial7 or Arecibo or medallion cabbies, which comprise 29 percent of the entire taxi fleet.

Overall, a Reported filing leads to a summons against the driver 97 percent of the time. Sixty percent pay this summons right away, while 40 percent will challenge the complaint before a judge. Half of those who challenge the summons are found guilty — and then pay double the original summons — the statistics show.

In 2018, Reported users filed 3,800 TLC complaints, generating roughly $380,000 in revenue for the city. The Taxi and Limousine Commission says it appreciates the reports even more than the cash.

“Anything that makes a driver think twice about risking someone’s safety with a reckless or irresponsible action is a tool we value,” said TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg.

Novich said the TLC has been supportive and helpful in all the cases Reported has brought to them.
“The attorneys there take these complaints seriously, they act on them,” he said. “The TLC should be a model for other city agencies in terms of how to engage constructively with residents.”

Roughly 20 percent of Reported complaints are against non-TLC-regulated vehicles — but those complaints go to 311 and are rarely acted upon because the offender is usually gone within seconds.

But regardless of the final punishment, the complaints themselves reveal just how little regard some drivers have for cyclists, who make up 70 percent of all Reported complainants, and pedestrians, who comprise the rest.

“Driver pulled sharply into bike lane directly in front of cyclist almost causing him to crash and forcing him to squeeze between a large truck,” reads an Aug. 6 report, one that is typical of the thousands received by the app.

App creator Novich said he’s proud of the low recidivism rate for TLC-regulated cars through Reported — but knows the app could do much more with more users.

“There are probably 10,000-times more violations going on every day that are unreported and [Reported comprises] a small group of people are filing these only when they directly encounter [violations], but I think the 4 percent would stay low even at scale,” said Novich. “We can use speed ticket data as a proxy. The vast majority of drivers who get a speeding ticket do not get another one.”


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9-year-old genius to graduate university




Laurent Simons

(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.

Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.

He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.

His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.

“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.

Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.

While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.

But Lydia has her own theory.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.

The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.

“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.

“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”

Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.

“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.

“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”

While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.

“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”

Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.

However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.

Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

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New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne




Lena Horne

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem




Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.

The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.

Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.

Father and son were both knocked through a gate.

The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.

One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.

McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.

McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.

Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.


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