In an effort to hold all car companies to the same standard, Southampton Town has proposed legislation requiring Uber, Limousines and Livery cabs to adhere to the local taxi law. This includes paying the same fees as cabs: $750 for a town license, $150 per car and $100 per driver.
Requiring Uber to follow these requirements might drive the popular car service out of town. MADD thinks this is a major issue because it limits options for people to get home after a night of drinking. In 2013 more than 10 percent of the state’s alcohol related crashes took place Suffolk County. Clearly there is a need for multiple options when it comes to getting people home safely.
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The New York State executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is urging Southampton Town officials not to pass proposed legislation requiring Uber, limousine and livery cabs operating in Southampton to adhere to the local taxi law.
MADD is part of a coalition that supports statewide regulation for the app-based ride-sharing service. The group feels the service offers a safe alternative to keep drunken drivers off the road.
A letter from MADD’s Richard C. Mallow dated March 8 and sent to Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and members of the town board urged them to revoke the proposal.
“There is a clear need for affordable and reliable transportation options in the area,” the letter stated.
Citing a report last year by the nonprofit Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, Mallow noted that in 2013, more than 10 percent of the state’s total alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes occurred in Suffolk County. He said the institute, which is based at the University at Albany, found that between 2011 and 2013, “Suffolk County had more alcohol-related accidents than anywhere else in New York State.”
The more options for a safe trip, the better, Mallow said.
“We have to make sure we give people as many options as we can to get them home safely,” he said in an interview Monday.
If the amendment to the existing taxi law is adopted, Southampton would become the second East End town to adopt measures to regulate Uber operations locally.
Councilman Stan Glinka, the board’s liaison to transportation, is proposing the measure, which is set for a March 22 public hearing. He said MADD’s letter will not change his plans. Schneiderman was not immediately available Monday for comment.
Uber spokeswoman Alix Anfang has called the proposal an attempt to protect local cabs from competition. The company stopped doing business in East Hampton Town last year when officials required Uber drivers to have a local business address to obtain a taxi license.