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Peekskill Officials Shelve Taxi Insurance Changes

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- City officials have decided to shelve a proposal to raise insurance liability requirements for city taxi cab drivers.

The proposed new policy would require taxi companies to maintain a liability insurance policy of $100,000 per incident and $300,000 of total coverage per period, an increase from the current amounts of $25,000 and $50,000.

City officials wanted the increases to help protect city residents who are injured in taxi accidents, but taxi drivers and owners who attended a public hearing on the law last week said the changes would hurt their ability to maintain operations.

Mayor Mary Foster said the common council decided at the Monday committee of the whole meeting to put the idea on hold, at least for the time being.

"We’ll take a look at the 2012 safety statistics and decide if any further action is warranted in 2013," Foster said.

Taxi owner and driver Anthony Bazzo of Atom Taxi, one of the drivers who spoke out against the proposal at last week's hearing, said both sides had come to a agreement that was in the best interests of all involved. The city police would first be looking into what kind of accident rate city taxis had to see if more insurance was necessary, he said.

"Periodic updates from the police department will be provided on the success or failure of the new (safety) regulations," Bazzo said. "The council will also be updated on any accidents involving taxis. The idea is to find out the full picture on the taxi industry."

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