Janet Lee

Janet Lee
Photo:Janet Lee, injured by a taxi partition.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Open Letter to The Boston police Department Commissioner Bill Evans

Steve Crowell
P.O. Box 303
Eastham, MA 02642
Boston Police Department
Police Commissioner William B. Evans
Schroeder Plaza
Boston, MA 02120

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Dear Commissioner Evans,
I am writing to submit a complaint about the dangerous interior partitions compromising passenger safety in Boston Taxis. Many people have died and thousands have suffered facial lacerations, traumatic brain injury and worse.

The notion that criminals are too stupid to circumvent the partition by merely reaching around the “B” pillar and aiming a gun through a side window, is absurd. This brainchild of the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission insults the intelligence of all taxi occupants. 

The adversarial atmosphere created by the installation of the partition is harmful to good customer relations. If I find that I have someone I need a partition for, while cab driving, my first obligation is to get them out of the cab.

Many years ago I prompted the USDOT to issue what they called a letter of warning to the Boston Police Department Hackney Carriage Division regarding the approval at taxi inspection of taxis without seat belts or head restraints. In that letter they ‘recommended consideration of compliance’ with federal laws.

I, also, am issuing a letter of warning to the Boston Police Department. I will see Boston taxis brought into compliance with federal standards, or I will die trying. I started this endeavor, decades ago and have no intention of quitting, ever.

The Boston Police Department Hackney Carriage Division once conducted a secret investigation of me regarding this matter. It was revealed in a letter from the Carriage Unit to Dr. Ronald Malt. That letter included a claim that partitions never hurt anyone. I was rear-ended using a Bow Street Partition. My spine dented the steel edge of the bend in the partition. The misery inflicted on me from back troubles can be multiplied by thousands of cab drivers with the same problems.

Partition window edges and steel covering the back of the front seats constitute severe risk to occupant safety. The vertical angle of the upper glazing section is the worst possible angle for reflections of sunlight, headlights and streetlights.

So, rather than the Boston Police Department Hackney Carriage Division staying in the business of engineering partition designs, a field of endeavor the taxi bureau is totally unqualified for, why not require removal of all partitions which do not comply with federal standards? While you are at it, why not make (Federally complying) partition use in taxis, optional?

Thank you,


Steve Crowell


CC: Maura Healy, Boston Globe, Boston Herald
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