Lancer Insurance
Wednesday, November 29, 2023

NYBCF Long Island City, N.Y. — The Black Car Fund (BCF), which provides workers’ injury compensation insurance to approximately 45,000 New York State black car and limousine drivers who are affiliated with BCF member companies, has recently added Amber Alert system driver training to the their Wellness, Safety & Education Program (STEP) classes it provides to those drivers in its Long Island City, Queens Safety and Wellness Center.

By offering training in safe observational and reporting methods, BCF hopes that drivers will act as additional eyes and ears to assist the law enforcement community in finding lost and taken children when time is of the essence.

STEP trainers will utilize the Amber Alert System Driver Training presentation guide, prepared and provided by the New York State Police.

New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said, “We applaud the Black Car Fund for adding Amber Alert training to the classes they provide. This is an important community service that could help enhance the efforts of law enforcement to locate a missing child when an Amber Alert is issued.”

The training enhancement is the brainchild of Black Car Fund Executive Director Ira Goldstein, whose long history with the Amber Alert program dates back to mid-2007 when he introduced Amber Alerts into the yellow taxi fleet system through the new taxi technology systems. While serving as chief of Staff to a former Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) chair, Goldstein was recognized in 2010 by the New York State Broadcasters Association and the New York State Amber Alert Partners for “outstanding community service” for his effective advocacy.

“Then as now, I’m proud to be involved with the Amber Alert program,” said Goldstein. “When it comes to protecting children – this is the most important public service in which our drivers–or any drivers–can participate.”

BCF’s Amber Alert driver training initiative has earned praise from a multitude of high ranking government officials, including Meera Joshi, TLC Commissioner and Chair, and Ydanis Rodriguez, chairman of the City Council’s Transportation Committee.

“I want to congratulate the BCF for its forward-thinking civic-mindedness in incorporating Amber Alert training into its Safety & Wellness education program,” said Joshi. “The importance of pulling together to protect children could never be overstated.”

"It's great to see the Black Car Fund stepping up as a leader in protecting our city's children,” added Rodriguez. “When a child goes missing, having the eyes and ears of the thousands of drivers affiliated with the BCF at attention will be a boon to concerned parents and residents. I'm pleased that the BCF is starting this initiative as a good corporate citizen and their work should be seen as a model for others to get involved."

Other segments of the STEP class include Healthy Driving, taught by licensed massage therapist Liat Forti; Hands Only CPR, taught by New York Hospital/Weill Cornell’s Heart Institute; and Share the Road, taught by Bike New York. Classes are held each Wednesday and limited to 30 drivers. Participants may attend once yearly for a $150 incentivizing stipend. Reflecting the BCF’s commitment to safety, the center pays drivers an additional $300 for the successful completion of a defensive driving course.

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