Texas Department Of Public Safety Drivers License Office

1

I always thought that the government gave taxi drivers a monopoly on hiring out cars in the hope that limiting the number of taxis available would provide a better living for taxi drivers and allow for proper regulation of the fleet of taxis, thus maximizing fairness and safety for the riding public. If one is against such a scheme, the proper avenue is to change the law, not to conspire to break that law over and over again. How are companies such as Uber not viewed as criminal conspiracies? Are they and their drivers not involved in a coordinated effort to break laws governing taxis? I wish someone would address this legal issue in a newspaper.

13 2016-11-10 11:29:00 - Privacy Guy
2

The concern about Uber et al, is not to protect the taxi industry from competition, but rather to make sure that the public safety is protected. That is one primary responsibilities of government. You probably don't remember the time when so called gypsy cabs were a public safety problem. That problem is returning. My niece was attacked last year by the driver of an unlicensed cab in Hoboken.

A Hack License requires a background check and a test for NY geography. A medallion requires insurance coverage. Police are authorized to stop cabs for inspection without cause. If Uber and Lyft are subject to these public safety requirements, then let them compete. But if they are not, when the first ugly incidents start happening, there will be a demand to know why the public was not better protected.

0 2016-08-29 12:28:16 - Joe
3

On a somewhat related note, I wish the Times or some other major news organization would do a deep dive into why truck drivers still are paid by the mile rather than on salary.

With telemetrics, GPS, instant communication with loading docks, weather info at everyone's fingertips, surely there are better ways to weed out inefficient or sandbagging drivers who lollygag on the clock. Pay per mile provides an incentive to focus on work but also far too great an incentive to push safety limits. We wouldn't need all of these convoluted "hours of service" rules etc. if drivers weren't punished for every minute they don't spend behind the wheel, pedal to the metal.

There really need to be hearings in which trucking company operators are asked to testify under oath about their compensation practices vis a vis safety.

12 2016-03-13 06:14:43 - Bohemienne
4

Mr. Kristoff vastly oversimplifies - automobile safety isn't solely the result of "intelligent" regulation (that characterization can charitably be described as debatable). It's the result of trillions invested in infrastructure, technological advancements (auto companies not the govt are responsible for most safety advances, ie, airbags, crumple zones, self-sealing tanks, etc.) and experience. Drivers in 1910 hardly knew what they were doing; comparing them to today's drivers is like comparing the Wright Brothers to a 747 captain.

Moreover, I would argue we do a terrible job of regulating cars. Today's cars are the automotive equivalent of assault rifles: They have capabilities far exceeding necessity purely for recreation (ie to get from Point A to Point B doesn't require a 400hp engine, a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds, and a top speed of 180mph). The majority of people who purchase those cars aren't remotely qualified to operate them. The fact that you have a drivers license doesn't mean you know how to handle a 2000-pound car going 90mph in the rain. In terms of utility there's no earthly reason for the BMW M5.

If we wanted to save 30,000 lives we could pass laws that require cars to go no faster than the posted speed limit, cap horsepower (hey, good for the environment too), and so forth. Instead, regulations try to make the inevitable crashes as survivable as possible. It's the equivalent of requiring that every assault rifle contain a First Aid kit in the stock.

2 2016-02-06 08:16:53 - Dean Martin
5

No one forced the doctor to treat ebola-stricken patients. If you are going to take on that responsibility, then you should be careful not to be reckless by putting the larger public at risk. What does it matter if he saved 20 lives in one country, but eventually put a city of 8 million at risk? That's just reckless and he should lose his medical license. I certainly would not want someone that reckless and irresponsible rendering medical advice to me. And why should he have to wait until he feels symptoms?? They should self-quarantine BEFORE any symptoms for safety purposes. If you're scared of violence, then don't be a police officer If you don't know how to exhibit caution for public safety, then don't be doctor. Simple as that.

28 2015-11-12 10:24:44 - Geewiz
6

As to safety belts, Wards Auto in an article discusses the introduction of seat belts and other safety feature on Fords:

"In 1956, [Robert] McNamara [yes, that same guy of Vietnam infamy] ushered into production the “Lifeguard” package, which featured a standard “deep-center” steering wheel that helped prevent drivers from being impaled by the steering column during a collision, and “double-grip” door latches to prevent occupants from being ejected.

Optional safety features included front and rear seatbelts, a padded dashboard and sun visors, and a rear-view mirror constructed of safety glass.

But the package proved unpopular with both the public, which did not want to spend additional money on something seemingly unimportant, and Ford executives, who were more concerned with keeping pace with archrival General Motors Corp."

Based on the public's response, Henry Ford II assessment of these safety features was "McNamara is selling safety, but Chevrolet is selling cars" The following year they were no longer offered.

If the public didn't think much of them, why should the auto industry have? No clear villains here.

0 2015-02-11 03:56:14 - GerardM
7

It is very easy for an able-bodied person with a drivers license and a car to think that it is easy to get a valid ID. Getting a valid ID can be tricky for people who do not drive, especially the elderly and the disabled. Also many college students now have trouble voting, since neither a student IDs nor a drivers license showing their "permanent" address is valid for voting where they live attend school. And, as been covered in our local news, many poor people without cars have found it difficult to obtain any of the "alternate" IDs that would be accepted. So yes, there are US citizens who are not voting because of this law. It is not clear to me that democracy and the "will of the people" is served when thousands citizens who want to vote are prevented from voting, even if the law really does prevent a very small number of illegal votes (and is not clear that is does).

196 2015-02-10 18:23:19 - Liz
8

No one forced the doctor to treat ebola-stricken patients. If you are going to take on that responsibility, then you should be careful not to be reckless by putting the larger public at risk. What does it matter if he saved 20 lives in one country, but eventually put a city of 8 million at risk? That's just reckless and he should lose his medical license. I certainly would not want someone that reckless and irresponsible rendering medical advice to me. And why should he have to wait until he feels symptoms?? They should self-quarantine BEFORE any symptoms for safety purposes. If you're scared of violence, then don't be a police officer If you don't know how to exhibit caution for public safety, then don't be doctor. Simple as that.

65 2014-11-14 20:39:55 - Geewiz
9

Sorry, politics is not a department store and politicians are not goods. We do not need any reason, more than it is our civic duty as Americans to stay informed and vote. We vote politicians into office and then they are to work for the public good. If they don't, you vote them out of office. We the people are entirely responsible for the state of our republic. We have grown lazy and stupid. We have given our government over to crooks and thieves and they do what crooks and thieves do.They are breaking into the public coffers in the military, education and safety net programs. America you get what you vote for. If you don't vote, you get the crumbs that are served to you.

19 2014-11-12 06:20:10 - Mark

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