Janet Lee

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

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Ford misunderstands the law - Federal standards apply

Ford apparently knows nothing.

 "Roberta" from Ford's Customer Relationship Center said on 2/9/2016, in a letter; "Typically, anything added aftermarket is not rated."

The USDOT seems sure.
"The safety standards apply to new motor vehicles and new items of motor vehicle equipment, and the responsibility for assuring compliance rests with the manufacturer.  However, the Act also includes some restrictions on vehicle modifications after the first sale to a consumer.  
  Under §108(a)(2)(A) of the Act, a manufacturer, distributor, dealer, or motor vehicle repair business may not "render inoperative" any device or element of design installed in accordance with a Federal motor vehicle safety standard. Thus, modification of a vehicle by such a person must not render any safety feature inoperative." Jeffrey R. Miller - Chief Counsel USDOT

Again, now the USDOT knows nothing.
In your letter, you ask a question about the New York City Taxi and Limousines Commission’s (TLC’s) “Taxi of Tomorrow” program. We suggest that you contact the TLC directly for information about the test program.
O.Kevin Vincent USDOT Chief Counsel 1/11/13

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Is it about saving cars from destruction in fire... or is it about failure to exit a burning vehicle?

Here is a link to stories about Jason Schechterle, Patrick Ambrose and others.

Dianne McGrath-McKechnie lies about the true start date for the partition installation mandate in NYC.

The January 28,1997 letter to me includes the same lie as repeated before about the true start date for the partition installation mandate in NYC.

Eugene Rodriguez, TLC Ombudsman Lies About Partitions Start Date

Five years ago (1990), when I became the Ombudsman at the Taxi
and Limousine Commission in New York City, driving a cab
was the most dangerous occupation in our town. In 1994 we
made partitions and trouble lights mandatory in all New York
City yellow cabs. 

This is a bold faced lie. See January 30, 1968 New York Times article. Other factors affected the crime rate in the mid to late 1990's, not a "new" partition rule.

The crime rate was cut in half, and no licensed
drivers have been killed since!

The following paragraph shows 109 slain cab drivers with partitions from 1990 - 1993. There has been no shortage of NYC cab driver murders since then. 

During my first three years here, murders went from 32 in 1990
to 30 in 1992, to 43 in 1993. In one particularly bad period during
' 93 ', four drivers were killed in four days and the City was gripped
with the fear that there was a serial killer on the loose who preyed
on cab drivers. Unfortunately, the truth was even worse. There was
no serial killer. Cabbies were just seen as easy targets. An A T M

on wheels.

Considering that drivers are banned from refusing anybody, and must go anywhere, all while being branded as unarmed, is it any wonder New York leads the nation for cab driver murder?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Marc Summers Partition Injury

10/19/2012 AT 08:00 AM EDT
Marc Summers is still deep in recovery mode after injuring his face in a car accident in August.

More than two months after the crash, the Food Network star got some discouraging news: "I have to have more surgery," he tells PEOPLE. "My left eye isn't where it's supposed to be and the ripped skin from where I hit the credit card machine [in the taxi] hasn't healed properly."

Summers, 60, was riding in the back of a cab when the driver lost control and the vehicle hydroplaned causing the crash. Summers hit the partition between the front and back seats of the cab.

"There's a divot under my eye so there's dead tissue," the Restaurant Impossible producer tells PEOPLE. "The doctor says it's a three month setback, but there's not much I can do. I'm going to remain optimistic."

The plan is to fix the tear and remove the titanium in his face in the hope that it will correct the placement of his eye. "If that doesn't work, they're going to have to tighten the muscles," says Summers. "I'm not sure how that happens and I'm not sure I want to know."

The prognosis isn't all bad news, however. "There was concern I would have trouble seeing, and I did see double for a while," he says. "But now my sight is in pretty good shape."

"Some people say they can't tell I had an accident, but I'm still pretty swollen on the left side," he adds. "I'm getting my stamina back. I'm about 88 percent of where I need to be but that's pretty damn good."

Danny Glover 'so-called'... "Discrimination" Complaint...

DANNY GLOVER was unconcerned about what the rules say

              On 4/20/03 the Times-Picayune had an ad announcing an appearance by Danny Glover at the Louis Roussell Auditorium at the Loyola campus in New Orleans. I HAD to see this. After listening to a fairly informative self-expressed biography for an hour and a half audience members were invited to speak to Mr. Glover. I was third in line.

              I spoke with Mr. Glover. I wanted to make Mr. Glover aware that he was being manipulated by the TLC, when they looked at a 'front seat ridership' matter and twisted it into a 'driver discrimination' issue. There was the partition crowding the rear seat area, so he chose to sit in the front. Because there is a partition, nobody is allowed in the front seat unless the back seat is full, according to the TLC rules. 

              This driver clearly was trying to accommodate Mr. Glover. He tried so hard... that he broke two rules in the process of trying to service his needs. He failed to pull over for the passenger and allowed passengers to enter the cab while it was in an active traffic lane. The problem began when he wouldn't violate a third rule, no front seat riders unless the back seat is full.

               The NYC TLC needed to morph this from a 'partition story' into a 'driver discrimination story'. They succeeded with the cooperation of the media.

               Here is a transcript of my encounter with Danny Glover.

STEVE CROWELL: “My name is Steve Crowell, I’ve been driving a cab for 33 years. I was pretty stoked last year, 11/4, when I read in Times-Picayune, ’99, 11/4/99 I read in the T-P that there was a problem with a cab and you in New York.
I noticed that the media and the TLC kind of twisted things around.

(I made the mistake at this point of skipping over the focus of my endeavor. I should have mentioned here that the ‘twisting around’ was
where the complaint changed from ‘front seat access’ to ‘driver discretion’.
Mr. Glover couldn’t fit in the back because the partition limited rear seat leg room
and he wasn’t allowed in the front because of the partition.
The partition was the reason the focus changed from the partition to the driver.
I was ‘stoked’ because I thought that now, finally, after 33 years of griping about partition hazards, we have a CELEBRITY
who has not one problem with the partition, but two, at once!)

The facts of the article said that you were on the street and flagged a cab and that your daughter got in the back seat, her girlfriend got in the backseat, now tell me if I got anything wrong… and that you being 6’4” having had a hip injury, knew you wouldn’t have a comfortable space in the back seat because the partition takes up 10” of rear seat leg-room, reasonably asked the driver if you could sit in the front. Is that right so far?

DANNY GLOVER: Let me just say that the story takes on a whole different  (unintelligible) Let’s begin with the first premise, that this guy had no intention of picking me up, initially.

(Here I should have asked Danny how he could believe that the driver didn’t intend to pick him up when the driver broke the law to accommodate his party.)

When the cab was at, this is after me, and my daughter and her friend had been around town and we couldn’t get a cab, where ever we went. So this was the fourth or fifth time, before this actually happened. So, uh, in this incident this was at the house, in New York, on the lower east side. The cab came to the corner, my daughter, Mandissa, went to open the door. The door was locked, he was stopped at a light. He couldn’t run the red light, he couldn’t turn right, or whatever. So, finally she said, “Aren’t you going to open the door?” So, he opened the door. She got in the back of the front seat, I mean the back seat, then she got in the back seat. Now my daughter is… about 5’9”, you know, her friend was pretty tall too and so what I figured was, I’ll get in the front seat… and the guy pitched a fit!

(Uproarious) laughter… from the elitist Loyola students who are certain the issues cab drivers deal with will never be a problem in their lives)

And he started, he thought that  (unintelligible) I said “Here’s what you do  (unintelligible) this guy’s on drugs…(?) He said, “Get out the cab, or I’ll call the police.” I said “Actually, that’s what I want you to do. Let’s go by the police, right now. Let’s go by the police.”


DANNY GLOVER: “And we found a policeman.”

STEVE CROWELL: “And then?”

“And the policeman  (unintelligible) I said “This is what happened, I tried to reason with him, so the police said, “You need to go down to the Taxi & Limo uh, uh…


DANNY GLOVER: “So, I went down there on my daughters’ insistence. This happens all the time. The black man  (unintelligible) all the time.”

STEVE CROWELL: “Well here’s the thing…”

DANNY GLOVER: ”No, no, I’m just saying, not to throw you off, so we went down there, and they asked me there  (unintelligible) everybody jumped on it  (unintelligible) how about the fine, all this other  (unintelligible) “

STEVE CROWELL: “You drove!”

DANNY GLOVER: “Believe me, I’m not trying to…”

STEVE CROWELL: “You used to drive a cab didn’t you?”

DANNY GLOVER: “I used to drive a cab, both of us drove. (Meaning, also Felix Justice, his ‘interviewer’)

STEVE CROWELL: “Was that in L.A.?”

DANNY GLOVER: “No, San Francisco, I drove a Yellow cab.”

STEVE CROWELL: “I hope you don’t get the mistaken impression that I have demonized you at all. There are a lot of cab drivers out there that may have, but they didn’t read the article. The article I read, said that your attorney showed up at the TLC and apparently there was a New York Times reporter there with him and Mathew Daus, who is currently head of the TLC, was the TLC Chief Counsel at that time, We encourage Mr. Glover to file a complaint.’ (They actually, to be accurate, used the word ‘urge’) we’re going to aggressively investigate this and we’re going to hold the driver accountable.”
My reflection on that is… it is not proprietous for them to tell you they want you to file a complaint. Their job is to tell you how to file a complaint. Secondly, it takes a little bit of pandering to a celebrity, I think. They don’t do aggressive investigations on everything! And, third, why didn’t they just take him out and shoot him in the first place, (laughter from about four people) and tell everybody he had a fair trial  (unintelligible) because here is the problem. There is a rule about front seat riders in New York City and the duplicitous, lying, SOB, TLC up there in New York never told you “You aren’t allowed in the front seat, nobody is allowed in the front seat. So, they said…”


STEVE CROWELL: “No, wait a minute, ‘Let’s go prove that we give permits to racist cab drivers, er, to racist people, to be cab drivers.’ Why they would want to do that… I don’t know. Why they’d set a black guy here and a white guy there and then say ‘If you pick up the white guy we’re going to take your permit and we’re going to tow your cab. They excoriated about 70 cab drivers who were summarily put out of work. No due process.”
It’s not your fault, I just want you to understand, NOBODY is allowed in the front seat. There are jerk cab drivers out there who DO superficial evaluations…”

DANNY GLOVER: “No, no, this wasn’t about the front seat. The issue wasn’t the front seat.”

STEVE CROWELL: “That’s what the driver said.”

DANNY GLOVER: “No, no, the issue was, he didn’t want to pick me up. That, period,”

STEVE CROWELL: “Well, I don’t know if he wanted to or not. He might have wanted to, he might not have wanted to…”

(Here I should have asked Danny how he could believe that the driver didn’t want to pick him up when the driver broke the law to accommodate his party.)

DANNY GLOVER: “He could have said “Look here, I understand that you have problems with your leg, but I am not allowed to have people in the front seat.”


DANNY GLOVER: “My argument to begin with  (unintelligible) because he would refuse to  (unintelligible) he refused to let me in the car first.

STEVE CROWELL: “You and I both want this superficial evaluation  (unintelligible).

DANNY GLOVER: “No, no, no, let me do the point. I can’t argue that point  (unintelligible).

STEVE CROWELL: “He did a superficial evaluation!”

DANNY GLOVER: “That’s not the issue, the issue is – this is THAT, what happened to ME, happens to countless people of color  (unintelligible) “

STEVE CROWELL: “AND, there is a way to address it.”

DANNY GLOVER: “He is, he is  (unintelligible), its STILL happening.”


Steve Crowell: “STEVE CROWELL: “ There IS a way to address it!”

DANNY GLOVER: “It’s STILL happening!”

STEVE CROWELL: “It CAN be fixed!”

DANNY GLOVER: “It is not fixable.”

STEVE CROWELL: “Oh, it isn’t?”

DANNY GLOVER: “, it’s STILL happening, and besides the fact, I’m not going to sit here and argue  (unintelligible).”

STEVE CROWELL: “I thought you were optimistic. How can you say it won’t be fixed?”

DANNY GLOVER: “I still get passed over!”

STEVE CROWELL: “It can’t be fixed?”

DANNY GLOVER: “It happens to me!”


DANNY GLOVER: “What you are saying  (unintelligible), I did what I did, I reported it, OK?”

STEVE CROWELL: “You did the right thing.”


STEVE CROWELL: “THEY did the wrong thing.”


STEVE CROWELL: “They did the wrong thing.” (The TLC)

DANNY GLOVER: “That’s beside the point, I’m reporting it and it’s still happening.”


Felix Justice: “We’re gonna have to… (Laughter over Justices’ attempt to abort the topic)

DANNY GLOVER: “DANNY GLOVER: “No, no I’m serious. Young, young white kid who was directing the play, told me, reminded me and I forgot about this, he used to stand out after I got out of the performance and flagged a cab down for me.”

STEVE CROWELL: “Cause it’s easier cause he’s white.”

DANNY GLOVER: “Cause he’s white, it’s still, it’s much deeper than that.”

STEVE CROWELL: “I didn’t make things that way. I’m trying to help fix it too.”

Felix Justice: “We’re gonna have to bring this taxi to a screeching halt.”

(Strong applause)

DANNY GLOVER: “It still happens. And you know what? I’m saying because he, I mean if it’s happening to me when it’s south Asians, when it’s Haitians…”

(I see now, it’s those Haitians and Asians who we should rake across the coals, not the partitions’ ergonomic deficiencies, the partitions’ viability, the partitions’ legality, the partitions’ impediment to safe operation and the partitions’ tendency to create an adversarial atmosphere in cabs.)

STEVE CROWELL: “It can still be addressed!”

DANNY GLOVER: “I’m not going to address it.”3

STEVE CROWELL: “You DID (address it). I was hoping I could give you an idea…”

DANNY GLOVER: “  (unintelligible) “

STEVE CROWELL That’s what I wanted to do.”

(Applause for Danny)

DANNY GLOVER: “What came out of that, what felt constructive is that they were never  (unintelligible) had all these town meetings amongst owners, cab drivers and members of the community and I thought that was a beginning step. You know I thought that was a step in the right direction.”

STEVE CROWELL: “I don’t think they took the right steps.”

DANNY GLOVER: “Well, I can’t.”

STEVE CROWELL: “Cause its still happening, obviously they didn’t (take the right steps).”

DANNY GLOVER: “People had to talk about it, thank you.”

STEVE CROWELL: “How can I get in touch with you?”


DANNY GLOVER: “Let me finish this right here. (Meaning, he wanted to change subject)

Mr. Glover claimed the driver had no intention of picking him up. This contention is inconsistent with the facts as Mr. Glover related them.
The driver took a huge risk for Mr. Glover.

In attempting to service DANNY GLOVER, his daughter and her friend, the driver could have been cited, permit suspended and fined hundreds of dollars for unlocking the doors while in an active travel lane. It is against the TLC rules to pick up or discharge without pulling to the side of the road.

It seems that DANNY GLOVER, with all of his support for the disenfranchised and higher social consciensciousness has a blind spot the size of Manhattan.

DANNY GLOVER cited the fact that cabs on four or five different occasions, earlier in the evening, had passed them up.

What the TLC did was very wrong and caused a great deal of harm to innocent cab drivers. The TLC should have informed DANNY GLOVER that it is illegal for passengers to sit in the front seat. I know it is a stupid rule, which is frequently not enforced by drivers, that came about as a result of the partition requirement.

The reason DANNY GLOVER couldn’t fit in the back seat was because of the partition. The whole problem stemmed from the partition requirement. It is absurd to assert that the driver is safer in an attack with the assailant BEHIND him.

It is criminal to assert that the partition is bulletproof. It is gross and deliberate negligence to ignore the deaths and injuries which partition requirements are responsible for.

It was specifically venal of the TLC to demonize cab drivers rather than tell DANNY GLOVER the truth about front seat occupancy. It is additionally egregious that DANNY GLOVER would join ranks with the TLC about allegedly racist cab drivers who go so far as to violate the rules by unlocking the doors BEFORE pulling to the side of the street to accommodate people like DANNY GLOVER.

DANNY GLOVER was unconcerned about what the rules say.

He was so angry at those sixty or so cabs that didn’t stop for him earlier in the evening, that now that he had a cab driver in his clutches, he wasn’t going to let this one get away without punishment.

The audiences comprised mostly of Loyola students were shamefully insensitive to the plight of cab drivers that are the most likely of all American workers to slain on the job. They are 5-10 times more likely to be killed this way than police officers.

The audience was amused that the driver would be concerned about a 6’4” black man jumping in the front seat of his cab in Manhattan in the wee hours of the morning. The ignorance is astounding.
I intended to get DANNY GLOVER to align himself with me about the inconveniences and  dangers of cab partition use. We hardly discussed partitions at all because DANNY GLOVER was so prejudiced against cab drivers we couldn’t even get to my real point.

My real point revolves around the fact that there is a Federally funded study that asserts that bulletproof shields are viable for use in cabs even though the murder rate rose 200% in the city studied. We never got past Glovers’ first, incorrect premise... that the driver never intended to pick up his party. I failed.

Plastic Surgeons' dream

“Those partitions create a plastic surgeons’ dream.” Jack Lusk -  NYC TLC Chairman 1988-1991

As emergency department physicians for two of the busiest emergency departments in New York City, Bellevue and NYU Langone Medical Center, NYU physicians witness many injuries caused by taxi accidents. The injuries range from severe facial fractures and lacerations to traumatic brain injury and neck and spinal injuries.  Denise Hoyt-Connolly from NYU Langone Medical Center

Dr. Charles DiMaggio - associate professor of epidemiology and anesthesiology at Columbia University Medical Center, and research director for the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University -"Partitions with protruding steel nuts and bolts, sharp edged credit card machines and change cups have all been about 16 inches from an adult passenger's face for the past 20 years or so."  "Safety testing with partitions installed should further decrease the risk of passenger head and facial injuries..."

“It’s a significant safety hazard,” said Dr. Jesse Taylor, a Plastic Surgeon at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, who operated on Marc Summers, TV producer. He’s seeing a growing number of injuries, related to cab partitions.

 Dr. Rahul Sharma, NYUMC  - has worked in several city emergency rooms, is all too familiar with the  damage the anti-crime partitions, required since 1994, can cause. “Ask any ER doc in Manhattan, and they will tell you they see it very frequently,” he said. “People have a false sense of security in the backseat of a cab.”

Dr. Gary Sbordone – Massachusetts Chiropracter  - “Could cause complex spinal injuries.”

Dr. Geoffrey Doughlin - E.R. Director, Jamaica Hospital – ‘Since the partitions act as a second windshield, back seat passengers fall victim to the same type of injuries as people in the front passenger position, the "suicide seat," ‘

Dr. Gregory Husk - Chairman of Emergency Medicine, Beth Israel Medical Center, “You can't do this kind of work (Emergency Medicine) without being impressed that the taxicab partition breaks a lot of noses, a lot of lips, a lot of chins.''

Dr. John Sherman - Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery, New York Hospital, New York City -  "The results are uniformly disastrous: patients with head wounds from dividers, fractured noses, lacerations and worse.  Last month I saw two patients die from taxi-related injuries.”

“This is a New York City tragedy and public health issue that has not changed in almost two decades,” Dr. Lewis Goldfrank, chairman of emergency medicine at Bellevue Hospital and NYU Langone Medical Center told the Daily news. “We don’t have a good system to count them, but there isn’t a week that goes by that we don’t see at least two patients with these terrible injuries.”

Dr. Arnold Komisar,  Dr. Stanley Blaugrund and Dr. Martin Camins - Lenox Hill Hospital, NYC - "Every emergency room in New York is seeing patients injured in taxicabs: three here, four there, six at another hospital, so it's easy to underestimate the problem,"

Dr. Stephen Pearlman - Upper East Side facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon - “Gaping soft tissue injuries are also prevalent, since an edge of a partition's sliding door or its metal track can tear the skin.” “In the most severe instances, this causes "almost an avulsion" of the nose.”

Dr. Paul Lorenc – NYC Plastic Surgeon “Crushed noses, fractured cheekbones and eye sockets, and "stellate," or burst lacerations, are among the most common injuries suffered when a passenger is hurled into the clear partition.”

Dr. Kai Sturmann - Acting Chairman, Emergency Department, Beth Israel  -  “I would like to see back-seat air bags.”

Dr. Marc Melrose - Emergency Physician, Beth Israel Medical Center, Manhattan - "Cabs don't have to get into an accident for people to be hurt. The cab stops short and you go flying into the screen with the handles and bolts and that metal change thing. It's dangerous."

Dr.  Talmor, Dr. Barie, Dr. Shapiro and Dr. Hoffman, Department of Surgery, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, NY. In 1996 four surgeons from the Department of Surgery, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center released a report, this is a review of it.
                “Craniofacial injuries resulting from taxicab accidents in New York City”
                Taxicab accidents are a common occurrence in New York City. This review was undertaken to characterize the nature of craniofacial injuries that result from taxicab accidents
                Data were collected on 16 patients who required admission to trauma or plastic and reconstructive surgery services, after sustaining craniofacial injury as a result of a taxicab accidents. 
                Front-end deceleration collisions were the most common mechanism of injury.
                Fifty-six percent of the patients were thrown against the bulletproof, Plexiglas driver safety divider and sustained an injury most commonly to the anterior midface.
                Both bony and soft tissue injuries were common in the entire group.
“Given the high incidence of craniofacial injury, appropriate safety standards for taxicabs must be initiated, including the reevaluation of the utility of the safety divider”

Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan, ACSH (American Council on Science and Health) President, “The deaths and injuries attributed to taxicab accidents are highly preventable.

Dr. Ralph Upchurch, chief of emergency medicine at Somerville Hospital, said not wearing a seatbelt in the back seat of a cab can be especially dangerous because of the plastic divider between the front and back seats.

Dr. Seth Manoach, lead author of the report, said  'The plexiglas partition that seperates the front and back of the cab, protruding change dish, and metal border can cause serious injury in an accident.' He urged taxi passengers to buckle up "Sit in one of the seats with shoulder and lap belts. The middle seats don't have them and during a front-end collision, your head is going to come forward and hit the barrier."             

From - 12/29/98 New York Times article about zero seat belt usage observed by N.Y. Univer. Research Team findings 4/97-8/97
Diane McGrath-McKechnie, Chairwoman of the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission – “The experience of New York City absolutely does not support the notion that partitions have increased the number of passenger injuries.” “We are well aware of the potential dangers of passengers not wearing their seat belts hitting partitions in short-stop circumstances.”

As officer safety and wellness is of the utmost importance to the International Asssn. Of Chiefs of Police you can be sure that we will continue to study all aspects of this issue.”        Erin Vermilye 2/25/2013

Frank Armstrong, Motor Vehicle Safety Compliance Enforcement Section Director, 6/22/84  "Dear Sir: It has come to the attention of this office that you may be in violation of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 by the manner in which you are installing partitions in taxicabs and/or police cruisers.“

Matthew Daus – TLC Chairman - “These cars and the partitions that are in them are 100 percent safe,”

1)   Denise Hoyt-Connolly from NYU Langone Medical Center

2)   Dr. Charles DiMaggio - associate professor of epidemiology and anesthesiology at Columbia University Medical Center, and research director for the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University

3)   Dr. Jesse Taylor, a Plastic Surgeon at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

4)   Dr. Rahul Sharma, NYUMC

5)   Dr. Gary Sbordone

6)   Dr. Geoffrey Doughlin - E.R. Director, Jamaica Hospital

7)   Dr. Gregory Husk - Chairman of Emergency Medicine, Beth Israel Medical Center

8)   Dr. John Sherman - Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery, New York Hospital, New York City

9)   Dr. Lewis Goldfrank, chairman of emergency medicine at Bellevue Hospital and NYU Langone Medical Center

10)               Dr. Arnold Komisar

11)               Dr. Stanley Blaugrund

12)               Dr. Martin Camins - Lenox Hill Hospital, NYC 

13)               Dr. Stephen Pearlman - Upper East Side facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon

14)               Dr. Paul Lorenc

15)               Dr. Kai Sturmann - Acting Chairman, Emergency Department, Beth Israel

16)               Dr. Marc Melrose - Emergency Physician, Beth Israel Medical Center, Manhattan

17)               Dr.  Talmor

18)               Dr. Barie

19)                Dr. Shapiro

20)               Dr. Hoffman, Department of Surgery, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, NY. In 1996 four surgeons from the Department of Surgery, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center

21)               Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan, ACSH (American Council on Science and Health) President

22)               Dr. Ralph Upchurch, chief of emergency medicine at Somerville Hospital

23)               Dr. Seth Manoach

The Trade Offs That Police Accept

Police officers look at this problem and make a decision.
Do I know there is a risk to rear seat occupants in a sudden stop? or a collision?  Yes.
Do I  know there is a risk of driver death in a rear end collision? Yes.
Do I want both? No.
Will I accept both? Yes.
Why? I do not know the answer to that question.

Taxi regulators look at this problem also make a decision.
Do I know there is a risk to rear seat occupants in a sudden stop? or a collision?  Yes.
Do I  know there is a risk of driver death in a rear end collision? Yes.
Do I want both? No.
Will I accept both? Yes.
Do I know drivers are shot dead, even with the bullet proof (sic) partitions? Yes.
Why continue the requirement? Cab regulators don't use taxis, so they are not at risk.

Taxi partition mandates benefit the regulator three ways.
1) The requirement creates the illusion that the murder problem has been addressed, when it has not been.
2) With the partition mandate in place, we feel justified in now universally denying second amendment rights for cab drivers with partitions. "You are protected by a bullet proof shield. You have no need for a weapon."
3) "You must not deny service to anyone." Supposedly protects the taxi bureau from liability for sanctioning discrimination. Discrimination is what the cab driving profession is all about. Racial discrimination is unkind and not what we are talking about.

Partitions are worth the risk of occupant injury, even though their use means more incinerated officers, more waffled prisoners, more injured taxi passengers, more murdered cab drivers.


NYC Medical Examiner does not care about partition deaths

From: Freedom of Information <FOIL@ocme.nyc.gov>
To: stvcrowell@yahoo.com
Cc: outgoing agency <outgoingagency@customerservice.nyc.gov>
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 9:31 AM
Subject: RE: City of New York OCME - Freedom of Information Law Request- Correspondence #1-1-737676961 Message to Agency Head,

Good morning.   I am writing in reply to your two emails to the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner Freedom of Information Law email address in which you seek the following:
“I have noticed partitions kill taxi occupants in collisions for 44 years now. I've also noticed that drivers with partitions are shot dead nearly every year. Cab drivers seem to be the unwilling participants in an experiment that has gone very badly. Are there no ethical barriers for these do-gooders who require partitions that kill and don't work right?”
“Can you count the number of cab drivers killed with a partition in their cab? Can you also tell me how many people have been killed hitting their head on the partition in a collision? It is illegal under federal auto safety law to trade off occupant safety for protection for the operator from assailants. It is especially upsetting when drivers are shot dead anyway.”
This Agency has no records which count the number of deaths which may have occurred in New York City involving a taxi cab which contained a partition.     
We also cannot answer your questions about “ethical barriers for do gooders” and federal auto safety law. 
Thank you.
Mimi C. Mairs
Special Counsel, Forensic Biology
Office of Chief Medical Examiner
Legal Department

421 East 26th Street
New York, New York 10016

Tel.  212.323.1903
Fax   212.323.1920

My Reply;

I think it would be a prudent idea to count how many people are killed in taxis... because of, partitions in collisions, and how many drivers are killed... despite partitions, in assaults.
Considering it is a city requirement to use partitions in taxis, it would seem incumbent on the city to keep track of these statistics.

Many trauma surgeons have become alarmed about the problem. I know of two medical studies done regarding this risk of taxi partition injury and death.

I think you should also count how many officers have been killed in rear-end collisions using a partition.

Also, count how many prisoners have been brutalized by a partition. Some might place this voluntary act of 'waffling" or " noodling" the prisoner, higher up on the list of priorities. Some don't have this on their priority list at all.

Civil rights are being denied all who are subject to injury and death in this manner. Partitions in taxis are a bad idea, in a bad endeavor to try to save drivers lives, according to current sources. Early sources (1968) said it was used in NYC cabs, in the event the passenger feared the driver - the passenger would have control of the partition window. The fact is this; if they were viable they'd be purchased without a mandate to do so. They are mandatory 

Whoever the partition is attempting to protect, shouldn't the first rule of medical ethics prevail here by 'first - doing no harm'? If partitions were injurious in collisions, but saved drivers lives, we'd call that a trade off or possibly, acceptable collateral damage. When there is no benefit to the driver, it isn't either one.

It is not deniable that drivers get shot dead WITH partitions in their cabs. The study done on partition use viability in 1997 deliberately did not count the 400% increase in cab driver murders, just the 20% decrease in non-fatal assaults on cab drivers.

Greater attention to this matter is called for by many doctors and experts. I think it is time for the Medical Examiners office to look into this.

Thank you,

Steve Crowell