Janet Lee

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

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Crash Testing Taxi Partitions by car makers

The NYC TL&C is conspicuous in not naming the particular testing facility to do the testing. They DO specify that the CAR MAKER is to test the car after alteration by a third party (the partition maker).
Early test results have been the reason for postponing the deadline for 'crash testing' from 2/3/2014 then to 2015 and now to December 2016. The results of early tests have not been released. Handi-cap accessible and hybrid taxis will be allowed to continue to use the same partition that the doctors warned the TL&C about. Why?
Dr. DiMagio said; "testing would ensure that partitions are designed so that they do not interfere with airbag deployment." How does THAT work? Test results do not automatically constitute design improvements. Why is testing being done in the first place? Haven't the doctors explained how deadly the partition is?
Federal standards require correction or removal. Considering the partition fails, every time, to protect the driver in an assault, removal of the partition seems to be the best idea.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Liberty Mutual Story

          I picked up an executive at Logan airport in my cab one sunny day. He asked to go to Ashland, the loss prevention facility for Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. He explained that he was high up in the loss prevention section of the company.
          If you know me, you know why this would pique my interest.
          I suggested that his company could advise their taxi policy holders to get in compliance with federal law (as the June 22, 1984 USDOT letter showed him that they must) by removing the illegal partition or by replacing it with a legal model, or have their policy cancelled. This way Liberty Mutual could demonstrate their commitment to safety, legal compliance and lower losses.
          This man laughed and said that’s never going to happen.
          I was stunned. I asked “Why not?”
          He said, “Imagine if nobody ever had accidents. There would be no need for insurance companies, right?
          I asked him if he was willing to witlessly stand by as taxi partitions continue to mutilate and kill taxi occupants. He replied that he had stockholders to answer to.
          I suggested he also had to be concerned about R.I.C.O. charges for profiting from ongoing criminal activity. He responded by telling me they had entire floors of the Liberty Mutual building populated with lawyers for this kind of thing and that if I was so motivated I should “Have at them”.

          I suggested that if I were to drive off the highway and hit a tree, with Checker Motors’ illegal partition in front of his face, that he would change his tune. He said “Have at it.”

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My essay pitch to "Cracked"

I started driving taxis in Boston 1970-1990, New  Orleans 1991-2004, Cape Cod 2005-2015. Because I have cursed the darkness, and offer light also, some say I have a conflict of interest. It is a confluence of interest, to recognize a problem and go one further step by solving the problem. 
I have designed a smooth, hazard-free, (&uniquely) certified- federally complying automobile interior partition. 
But let's not get distracted that I have a solution. Let's pay attention to what has been done to stop me and allow the injury and death to continue. In 1984 the USDOT, on one hand, warned violators to certify and comply, and on the other hand, in the same letter, accepts a so-called 'trade-off' of occupant safety for operator protection from assailants. This 'trade-off' is flatly  illegal.

Massachusetts writes that they are puzzled as to the definition of "seat belt". New York and Boston cab regulators continually prevaricate on partition facts.

Although I have a better design, I DO NOT  support mandates for compulsory installation, especially in taxis. I have driven taxis for 20 years WITH a partition and 24 years without one. I prefer to drive without one. My thinking is this... If I need a partition, I have the wrong people in the cab and must get them out. The regulator thinking is, "if an assailant with a gun wants to hurt you, take him where he wants to go, DO NOT REFUSE, or you will be cited, after all, you are protected by a bullet-proof partition."
This is aggravating murder statistics. When cabs went to 'gun-free' zones the murder rate rose. Murder, the reason stated for partition mandates, isn't even included in the oft referred to statistical analysis on partition use viability study done at NCSU 1997.

At this point, assuming you are still reading, you are thinking; "What an idiot! He says partitions are no good for cabs yet he expects to sell partitions!"

My target market is where partitions are used in police cruisers. Too many officers use the steel grid to mutilate prisoners. There is no shortage of resistance in that market either, even though the sword cuts both ways. Dozens of officers have been burned to death in cruisers that have caught on fire, because the partition knocked them out.

I have been collecting data for 40 years on this. If I say it, I can prove it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Taxi Partitions - Bullet resistant or bullet proof?

Or does it matter?

With So many different standards for bullet resistance, they confuse even experts.

First, the methods employed by those who have tested 'taxi partition' bullet resistance have little in common with any of the nine other bullet resistance rating authorities, worldwide.

Second, if the partition was convincing enough to fool any perpetrator into thinking it isn't possible to reach around (it always is) it wouldn't matter. Because, the 3/8" Lexan, the commonly used thickness, is not bullet resistant, as rated by the maker, G.E.

It is clear that taxi regulators want it believed that taxi partitions stop bullets. See this link Quote from Boston Taxi regulator about how partitions are meant to stop bullets, found in a letter to a prominent Boston MGH trauma surgeon, Dr. Ronald Malt.

The endeavor to lead naive cab drivers to a feeling of false security by overstating the achievable objectives of taxi partition use, is dishonest and overtly self-serving.

New York City Taxi regulators have recognized "On March 28th, 1997 New York City Taxi & Limousine Commissioner Dianne McGrath-McKechnie wrote… "Yes, we are well aware of the potential dangers of passengers ('who are' sic,) not wearing their seat belts hitting (their faces on) partitions in short stop circumstances."the danger partitions pose to occupants in a collision. They are currently extending a crash test requirement an extra year because of the initial results.

When will Boston begin to address this problem?