Janet Lee

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

Monday, October 08, 2012

February 1985 Boston Magazine article

This an excellent example of the bias, condescension and ridicule that can befall a safety advocate... IF HE IS A CAB DRIVER. Elitism and condescension are not uncommon to cab drivers.  The cab driver is concerned about the safety of his, and all Boston cab passengers, yet the writer of this article apparently feels the drivers should be so paralyzed with fear of robbers... that passenger safety shouldn't even rate a place on his priority list. It is more important to ridicule the driver, as a phony safety advocate than to actually understand the problem.

How’s this for unbiased journalism? Crucify a hardworking enterprising cab driver, who has a better mousetrap, concerned about a significant public safety hazard.
“How’s this for a switch? A Boston cabbie who’s campaigning for passenger safety?”
The point being, the partition is (alleged to be) for his safety in an assault, why is he concerned about occupant safety in a collision? Is it just because collisions are much more frequent?

We’ll just tell you that the police mandated the partition installation to protect drivers. For the moment just forget about how infrequent assault attempts are… compared to the frequency of minor, and major collisions in Boston taxis. We will completely disregard the suggestion by Crowell that partitions always fail to protect drivers from assailants attacks.

Mr. Crowell is against them being mandatory and yet he BUILDS them. What a nut! Before we concede that he is absolutely correct about the applicability of federal safety laws, let’s make his intentions look absurd.

He’s against the mandate, yet, he builds one that “protects drivers AND passengers”.

He is emphatic that the partition is a failure at protecting drivers in assaults, but we won’t include THAT in the article. It’s just too confusing to us and our readers, that he would build partitions and then deny that they protect drivers in assaults… especially when the police tell us partitions DO protect cab drivers in assaults.

This confused and self-serving cabbie actually just wants to make a profit selling HIS product. Well, how can he do that, while at the same time he says they don’t work? What a fruitcake!

He has gone so far as to draw up a petition against partitions to “dramatize” the issue! He has “lodged complaints at every step of the regulatory ladder” while simultaneously promoting HIS design.

WE won’t come right out and say that NHTSA has issued ‘official letters of warning to the police and manufacturers’ regarding compliance violations”. We will say they decided that addressing taxi partition and occupant safety any further is not “in the budget” due to “manpower problems”.

 He claims his design is legal. We spoke to Schifflet at the DOT NHTSA and he has never seen Crowells’ partition design and knows nothing of its’ construction, but sight unseen, declares the material used is wrong. So, let’s go with that angle.

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