A new bill in city council, seemingly modeled after the plotline of Taxi Driver, aims to give hookers a fare chance at escaping exploitation.
The bill, likely to pass, would teach city cabbies how to help prostitute passengers. From The New York Post:
The course — designed to help hacks ID prostitutes and tell them about available resources — would be mandatory for anyone applying for a TLC license, according to a bill expected to soon pass the City Council. Mayor Bloomberg said he would sign the bill, which requires the city to design and update the course regularly.
In December, the Committee on Women's Issues and the Committee on Transportation introduced two bills targeting sex-trafficking. WNYC reported:
One bill proposes a $10,000 penalty for drivers who knowingly participate in sex trafficking and asks the Taxi and Limousine Commission to institute an education program on sex trafficking for all drivers. The other bill raises penalties for driving an unlicensed vehicle for hire.
What hasn't yet been determined, however, is what happens when a cab driver gives a non 'working girl' some pamphlets on how to avoid hooking. Awkward!
In April, a father/son team was arrested for allegedly operating a brutal sex trafficking business in Manhattan--a "brothel on wheels"--in which they branded the prostitutes with tattoos.
Six livery cab drivers were also arrested in connection with the business. You can see a very sad photo of all of them in court here.