Women protest cabbie prostitute pickup penalty - New York News

Women protest cabbie prostitute pickup penalty

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NEW YORK (AP) -

A dozen scantily-clad women rallied outside New York's City Hall, decrying a bill they say prevents beauties wearing skimpy clothes from getting a fair shot at hailing a yellow cab.

The proposal, which will soon get Mayor Michael Bloomberg's signature, slaps stiff penalties on cabbies who ferry prostitutes and get a cut of the cash.

But Thursday's collection of bartenders and shot girls said that hacks now will be scared to pick up any woman wearing a short skirt or spiked heels -- and noted that sometimes, even legitimately-employed women have to flaunt it to make a living.

"They don't even know who is a prostitute or not!" according to Diana Estrada, 27, a Sofrito bartender wearing a cleavage-baring spaghetti-strap dress. "You don't have a shirt on that tells if you're a prostitute or not."

She frequently takes cabs home to Queens after leaving late shifts and is concerned that taxi drivers will pass her by, since she wears short-shorts or miniskirts.

Currently, the city's Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) has the authority to strip drivers of their licenses if they knowingly partake in sex trafficking.

But the new bill -- which the City Council unanimously passed Wednesday -- would require the TLC to both strip a driver's license and slap them with a $10,000 penalty if the driver previously was convicted of sex trafficking.

On a first offense, a driver goes to a city hearing, where his license could be revoked.

The proposal could make cops more willing to arrest drivers who are innocent, taxi-union boss Fernando Mateo said.

"I will challenge any one of you to tell me which one of [these women] you would consider to be a prostitute," he said Thursday. "They're all sexy."

Read More: NYC women protest proposal to penalize cabbies for picking up prostitutes

 

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