Janet Lee

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

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

TLC Atty Daus circa 2000

In your message you raised concerns about passenger and driver safety resulting from the TLC requirement for the mandatory installation of partitions in most taxicabs.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that the mandatory installation of partitions in taxicabs has a positive affect on driver safety. Studies conducted as recently as 1999, both in New York City and in other localities where partitions have been mandated, have demonstrated conclusively that the mandatory use of partitions has caused a significant reduction in the number of assaults against taxicab drivers.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission is aware of the allegations raised in your letter that partitions contribute to passenger injury. In 1999, the TLC published a Request for Proposals from interested parties desiring to provide information concerning new designs and installation methods for partitions that would reduce the risk of injury to passengers. The TLC received few responses to this Request. If you have a proposal for a safer partition, I would encourage you to share your proposal with the Commission so that it may be considered as an Although there have been incidents of passengers injured in taxicabs as a result of contact with a partition, most serious injuries have occurred when the passenger has failed to use a seat belt. Seat belts and shoulder harnesses must be installed for rear passengers in taxicabs, and the belts must be maintained in good working order and be accessible to passengers.

In conclusion, I would state that mandatory partition installation has been one policy that has contributed to the significant reduction in criminal activity against taxicab drivers that has been experienced in New York City during the Giuliani administration. While passenger safety is also a legitimate concern of the Commission, passenger seat belt use would substantially reduce the risk of injury to passengers.

Very truly yours,

Matthew W. Daus General Counsel

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