Janet Lee

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

Monday, May 06, 2013

USDOT letter to Crowell

This letter asserts that a trade off of passenger safety is allowable. It is not. There are no plans to test unless violations continue, which they have, with minor exceptions.

US Department
Of Transportation

National Highway
Traffic Safety

400 Seventh Street S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20590

JUN 2 2 1984
NEF- 32GSh
Mr. Steven W. Crowell
35 Pinckney Street
Boston, MA 02114

Dear Mr. Crowell:

Thank you for the information regarding the installation of partitions in taxi cabs and police cruisers.  As was discussed with you in a three-way telephone conversation, which included Mr. George Shifflett and myself on June 8, 1984, we have been looking into the matter since we received your letter.

A copy of our letter to those alterers that you listed is enclosed.  As explained in the conversation, the only provable violations at this. time, based on information that you have supplied, is the removal of restraint Systems under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No  208 and Improper glazing material being sold in violation of FMVSS No. 205.  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.  We are also enclosing a copy of our letter to Captain Cadegan regarding the subject. We do not anticipate any further action by this office at this time unless we find continuing violations after those involved have received our letter.

In your letter of January 17, 1984, you state that you have been told that --you must obtain a manufacturers identification code number for your partition.  It Is regretted that you have been misinformed.  The prime glazing material manufacturer of the material used in your partition must obtain the manufacturers code number.  It is not necessary for you to obtain a number.  The markings required by FMVSS No. 205 must be on the material when it is sold.

Francis Armstrong
Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance Enforcement

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