New York City taxi drivers recognized at fourth-annual Vision Zero Safety Honor Roll

News Desk

ny taxi voice / las vegas


O

ne hack relies on his focus and patience to stay safe on city streets.

Another keeps his eyes on the road — ahead of him, on his sides and behind his cab.

And the head of a taxi company says he drives as if the kids crossing streets are his own.

The three were among the city’s safest taxi drivers who were honored Wednesday for being behind the wheel for nearly 2 million trips last year without a blotch on their records.

The Taxi & Limousine Commission recognized 420 road warriors at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center for the transit agency’s fourth-annual Vision Zero Safety Honor Roll. There were also awards honoring car bases, fleet owners and drivers who take trips in wheelchair-accessible cars.

“Please continue to drive like your family lives here and be role models for all TLC drivers,” said TLC Chairwoman Meera Joshi said. “For all passengers who are watching, please remember to tip for safety and not for speed.”

Some of the honorees gave the Daily News their expert advice on staying safe on the road.

William Abebrese, 33, who was among the safest drivers in the honor roll, with 18,888 violation-free trips since 2015, had this advice: “I would tell them to be focused and have patience — that’s it.”

Bala Kouko, 49, said his awareness while behind the wheel of a yellow cab helped him make the honor roll for the last three years.

“Any time you’re driving make sure you focus: All your eyes have to be on both sides, left right, front, look into the back mirror,” the Bronx cabbie said.

Felix Suero, head of Dominicana Radio Dispatch in Corona, Queens, which won a safety award for bases, said he keeps in mind the TLC’s motto on safe driving, reminding himself that his family could be walking the sidewalks of New York.

“What I envision is that my children are in the streets. They could cross the street at any moment,” Suero said. “I have to keep my eyes on the street at all times and look out for that person that might step into the streets.”

Suero, who started driving professionally in 1997, said he’s seen how tough it has gotten over those 20 years to safely navigate New York’s roads“Now, there’s too much traffic. There’s too many people,” he said. “Most of the time, people don’t think. They’re on the cell phone, or their headsets and it’s a lot more complicated to drive nowadays.”