Group calls for cabbie sex offender checks

The advocacy group Parents for Megan's Law has teamed up with some Long Island taxicab companies to ensure the safety of passengers. In an effort to keep sex offenders out of taxi driver's seats, Parents

News 12 Staff

Nov 1, 2007, 8:55 PM

Updated 6,103 days ago

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The advocacy group Parents for Megan's Law has teamed up with some Long Island taxicab companies to ensure the safety of passengers.
In an effort to keep sex offenders out of taxi driver's seats, Parents for Megan's Law is calling for a law requiring current and prospective cab drivers to be fingerprinted and have their names checked annually against New York's sex offender registry. Until a law is passed, executive director Laura Ahearn is asking taxi companies to comply voluntarily.
Companies that agree to screen the drivers' and applicants' records will be given "Parents for Megan's Law" stickers to put on all their cabs.
Lindy's Taxi of Islandia displays the stickers on its cars. Lindy's owner Bob Piracci said he immediately fired a driver about a month ago when he learned the man had been convicted of a sex crime.
While it's not illegal for sex offenders to drive taxicabs, Ahearn recalled a case two years ago in which a taxicab driver was convicted of raping a 15-year-old girl.
"After serving eight months in prison, he was behind the wheel again, driving a taxicab for Four Ones Taxi in Mastic and driving by the victim's house to harass her," Ahearn said.
Piracci's reasons for working with the advocacy group are simple. "I see no reason why everybody shouldn't follow suit and do the same thing," he said. "It protects our customers. It protects the people of Suffolk County."
Laws on background checks vary in local municipalities. Ahearn said the organization would lobby for a change at the state level.
Related Information: Family Watchdog MapSexOffenders.com U.S. Department of Justice


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