Janet Lee

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

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Dave Newman (NYCOSH) is getting warm...

 July 11, 2013 at 5:27 pm ET  -   Dave Newman (NYCOSH)
The issue of how to reduce or prevent assaults in mobile workplaces (taxis, buses, etc.) is a complex one.

In the U.S., the increasing use of partitions in taxis and buses has often been characterized by retrofitting into existing vehicles.

Workers, unions, and advocacy organizations have had little or no input into the design or implementation of barrier devices.

Consequently, it is not surprising that issues such as glare and visibility, ventilation, provision for emergency exit, maintenance of ability to interact with passengers, seat adjustability, etc. have not been adequately considered and serve as disincentives to driver acceptance, resulting in bypass of the safety intent of the partition.

This may be contrasted with, for example, radically different partition designs in European and South American buses, where there appear to be a greater tendency to take these and other factors into account.

It is likely that were drivers to have practical input into the design and implementation of barriers their use and effectiveness would increase.      Dave Newman
Even the best, safest, most ergonomically considerate taxi partition design is never going to help the driver in surviving fatal assault attempts. The recent CDC study shows this.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Finally, after decades of using taxi partitions in an experiment to try to save drivers' lives, we see the results are, at best, "zero benefit". This is from a nearly non-partisan source, The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA. http://www.ajpmonline.org/webfiles/images/journals/amepre/3793-stamped-061113.pdf

It is long past the proper time to remove taxi partitions from the cabs.

I build automobile partitions and I have never endorsed their use as 'robbery' or 'assault prevention' devices.

It is dangerous and irresponsible to expect an automobile partition to be something it never was before the taxi application.

Prior to using them in taxis... partitions were never expected to prevent an assault.

In limousines, they provide privacy, in a utility van, they retain cargo.
In a police car, they keep frisked, disarmed, seatbelted, handcuffed prisoners from getting in the front seat.

In a taxi, a partition never prevented a shooting of a cab driver. If one shooting occurs tthat is proof they don't work. The number of murders was unchanged with partition use.