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Tosca Jun 9th, 2004 05:30 AM

Cab Ride in NYC w/infant
I will be in NYC tomorrow with my daughter who is 17 months old. I was wondering if I needed a car seat if I wanted to take a cab at some point.

Thanks for your help!


caribtraveler Jun 9th, 2004 05:44 AM

i'm going to assume you mean: are there cabs in nyc with car seats? i have heard there are. you'd have to arrange in advance for pickup. i don't know which ones though..sorry.

Tosca Jun 9th, 2004 05:47 AM

Not necessarily a cab with a car seat (but very helpful anyway!).... Can I place my child in a cab w/o a car seat or do I need to bring my own? BTW, my daughter is about 35 inches tall and 35 lbs.


caribtraveler Jun 9th, 2004 05:51 AM

it's against the law to have a child in car without a car seat.
also, nyc taxi drivers are notoriously bad drivers..they drive fast, they cut off people, etc...
you REALLY don't want to do that.

bradk Jun 9th, 2004 07:10 AM

in all fairness, i wouldn't necessarily categorize them as bad drivers. very few accidents relatively speaking. just usually driving on the offensive (i've seen worse in other countries).

but i agree, especially if you need a stroller, it'd be nice to have one that will convert to a car seat.

if the weather is nice enough tho, and you aren't under severe time pressures, nothing beats walking

Tosca Jun 9th, 2004 07:22 AM

To Caribtraveler: your post prompted to look on the NYC T&LC says: ? What are the rules regarding child safety seats and seatbelts in taxicabs?

Drivers of yellow medallion taxicabs and for-hire vehicles and their passengers, are exempt from laws regarding car seats and seatbelts. Keep in mind, the TLC encourages everyone in the vehicle to buckle their seatbelts while riding in a cab. There are no Taxi and Limousine Commission rules regarding this, as it is a State exemption. Passengers with children are encouraged to bring their own car seats, which the drivers must allow passengers to install.
*NOTE - Children under the age of seven are permitted to sit on an adult's lap.

To Brad: I have to agree with you that the drivers aren't all bad and also that nothing beats walking. I intend to walk but since rain is forecasted, I wanted to know the rules just in case I needed an alternate means of transportation. Thanks again!


Drelet Jun 9th, 2004 07:25 AM

All my NYC friends with babies just take the kids in a taxi and strap in and that's it. Just FYI. I have one friend who takes the bus a lot though and really enjoys that with her two kids.

caribtraveler Jun 9th, 2004 09:00 AM

Tosca: I would look at ny's dmv website which states new york state's law about child restraints. I'd take their word over a taxi business association's. The dmv web site doesn't say anything about cabs being exempt. a car is a car.
If you decide not do the car seat, it is your choice but be aware of the law.

caribtraveler Jun 9th, 2004 10:08 AM

All right..after much research, I found the law. A bit complicated I think.
Apparently there's are two laws: NY child restraint law and NY safety belt law. It sounds like the NY Safety Belt Law with its exemptions are for people over 4 years of age.

NY Child Restraint Law: Children under 4 years old must be secured in a child restraint.
The ONLY exemption for the NY child restraint law is for "children who for physical or medical conditions cannot use a child restraint system".

NY Safety Belt Law: Each front seat passenger and every driver of a passenger motor vehicle shall have a safety belt on while the vehicle is in forward motion. Children under 16 who are riding in the back seat of a passenger vehicle must also use a safety belt.
Exemptions: Drivers or occupants whose physical or medical condition prevents using a safety belt; Rural letter carriers while delivering mail; Taxis; Liveries; Buses other than school buses.

A fine of no less than $25 and no more than $100 shall be assessed against a driver for any passenger in the front seat who is less than 16 or for a passenger in the back seat who is less than 10 years old for failure to wear a safety belt. For a passenger in the front seat who is over 16 years old will be assessed a fine of not more than $50. Generally, a fine of $25 will be imposed for a first time offense. A $30 surcharge will be added to the fines imposed for a violation of this provision. A violation of this provision will appear on a driver's license and will remain on their record for 18 months. A driver's insurance company has access to the driving record of the insured driver and may learn of any violation on the driver's record by inspection. Three points will be assigned to a driver's license for a violation of this provision involving a child under 10 years of age in the back seat, but no points will appear on a driver's license for a violation of this rule by an adult.

Tosca Jun 9th, 2004 10:15 AM


Just got off the phone with the NYS DMV and taxis are not included in the car seat law. FYI...


bradk Jun 9th, 2004 10:25 AM

caribtaveler's most recent post does reflect that taxis are exempt. mind you this is only because it's not reasonable to assume that every taxi driver could accomodate this, this coupled with the fact that its the driver that would be responsible is what creates the exemption.

bottom line however is it still comes down to your own child's safety, and movements in a taxi can be quite jerky, so law aside, i think it's advisable to bring a car seat or at least some additional restraint that interacts with the seat belt, which the TLC does require to be fully functional.

E Jun 9th, 2004 10:35 AM

I'm surprised that no one has pointed out how tricky car seats are to install--so I'm going to do it: car seats are very tricky to install! Are you really going to install one *correctly*, under pressure from traffic and the driver, and keeping an eye on your kid all the while? I think a car seat would be a good idea to use, I just don't think it will be at all doable.

bradk Jun 9th, 2004 10:46 AM

the TLC requires that the driver allow the passenger time to install the car seat, prior to driving. otherwise i'm sure it's potential grounds for a lawsuit should something happen.

MFNYC Jun 9th, 2004 11:30 AM

It could be much more dangerous having a baby in a stroler in the subway, than a parent holding their child, using a seatbelt in a cab. Honestly, the only time I used a car seat was when I brought my kids home from the hospital. I didn't take cabs often, but when I did, I just carried my baby on my lab and used a seatbelt. I think that's what most NYers do. In city bused, there aren't even seat belts. I have never seen a cab with a baby seat.

MFNYC Jun 9th, 2004 11:32 AM

I meant the only time I used a car seat while riding in a taxi was when I took them home from the hospital.

caribtraveler Jun 9th, 2004 12:02 PM

ok..if that's what dmv tells you.
bradk: actually my note reflects that taxis are exempt from the seatbelt law and not the child restraint law. 2 different laws. maybe i'm just reading the law wrong. i'm not a lawyer after all.

bradk Jun 9th, 2004 12:06 PM

oh, right. sorry. for what it's worth, it wouldn't make sense for the dmv website to specify a taxi exemption because presumably people going to the dmv for information are drivers and not taxi passengers.

caribtraveler Jun 9th, 2004 12:19 PM

good point bradk.

GoTravel Jun 9th, 2004 02:14 PM

All it means is that neither the cab driver or the parent will get a fine or ticket for not having a child in a safety restraint seat.

My friends with kids hold them on their laps they few times they take cabs. Most of my friends with small kids walk or ride the bus.

mp Jun 9th, 2004 06:31 PM

Funny that not too many Manhattan parents responded to this. In a perfect world, all taxis would just happen to have clean, working, size-appropriate -for-your-baby car seats in their trunks whenever you need them. It's not a perfect world.

As MFNYC said, the only time I ever used a car seat in a yellow taxi was when I brought my son home from the hospital. I

t's a bad situation - but for the times when you have to cab it with your child, and can't carry your own personal car seat with you, all you can do is wear your own seat belt, brace yourself (and them) and direct the driver to be careful. If it's any comfort, most times of the day traffic makes speed limits to at best 15 mph - the speed limit in Manhattan is 35, I believe.
A 17 month-old is kinda the worst age - 20 pounds or more of squirmy! Most people with kids in tow take the bus, walk or schlep the stroller up and down the subway stairs. That's why an umbrella stoller is a must.
Oh- one more thing. Even if you could bring your car seat around NYC with you, that doesn't guarantee that the cab's seat belts work, or that you'll be able to install the seat properly, while you're holding a squirmy infant, your bag and the cars around you are honking away!

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