A dozen livery cab drivers will receive bulletproof vests as part of a pilot program announced Monday aimed at keeping the drivers safe.
The New York Federation of Taxi Drivers is currently handing out the vests to drivers in the South Bronx, Jamaica, and East New York.
The goal is to distribute the vests to several bases – with users returning them after their shift for other drivers to use.
They're the same vests worn by New York City Police Department officers.
The union says it wants to make them available to any driver who asks, but they'll need help.
"Twelve vests is just a start,” said Fernando Mateo, president of the Federation of Taxi Drivers. “But we're going to reach out to NYPD, to individual police officers, and ask them that at the time they decide to retire, we would really appreciate if they can make a donation of their bulletproof vest to the federation, as well."
Shooting and robberies have long plagued the livery cab industry. The vest program comes on the heels of the shooting of driver Trevor Bell, who was attacked after picking up a passenger in Queens earlier this month.
For anyone who would like to donate to the campaign, organizers have said to contact the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers at 718-492-7680.