Janet Lee

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

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Partition risk alarms go off in 2004 & 2005

That Wild Taxi Ride Is Safer Than You Think - NYTimes

Some of the findings set off alarm bells about passenger safety. When cabs are involved in accidents the passengers are about twice as likely to suffer serious injuries than the passengers of private cars, the study concluded.

Another reason for the serious injuries is the partitions in taxis, which are designed to protect drivers from passenger attacks, but can cause head and upper body injuries to passengers when the cabs crash or stop suddenly. 

The partitions "are designed to protect drivers from passenger attacks" but always fail. There seems to be an unspoken acceptance of a doubling of the injury rate, because the partition is expected to "protect" the driver. This 'trade off, of occupant safety, for 'protection for the operator from assailants' is mentioned in the June 22nd, 1984 USDOT Letter from ArmstrongT letter to me...

 "Proof of a violation of the others would require testing by the Government. Because of our limited testing budget, the number of vehicles involved, and the controversial trade-off of occupant safety for the safety of the vehicle operator from assailants, we have no plans to test the involved vehicles for violations of other FMVSS to which you refer." 

Trading off occupant safety is forbidden under any circumstances by USDOT law.

Taxicab and Livery Crashes in New York City 2004
Another key finding of the report is that while injury rates are lower for taxi passengers than other vehicles, the severity of injury is greater for those passengers who are injured in a taxicab. Injured taxi passengers are twice as likely as passengers of other vehicles involved in the same crash to suffer head and face injuries. The higher incidence of such injuries owes to passengers not using restraints and the presence of partitions in medallion cabs. Taxicab and Livery Crashes in New York City 2004
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