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Health: Taxi Dangers

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stephanie-web Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3 and The CW Philly 57’s Emmy Award-win...
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By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – His face was crushed. The television personality Marc Summers broke almost every bone in his face.

“I’m lucky to be alive according to the doctors,” said Marc. You probably remember him from “Double Dare”, Marc now hosts and produces shows on the Food Network. He was in a Philadelphia taxi accident in August. He smashed into the credit card machine that’s mounted on the protective shield.

“My head went right into it and crushed the entire left side of my face. I have titanium from here to here,” described Marc.

“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. He’s seeing a growing number of injuries, related to cab partitions.

“Unfortunately they are dangerous mostly because I think a lot of people don’t wear seatbelts when they are in a cab, and you become a flying object,” said Dr. Taylor.

That situation is potentially more dangerous, when something protrudes from the shield, closer to the passenger.

“I was out for a while, woke up and the back of the cab was full of blood,” said Marc.

Laws in Philadelphia require cabs to have the shields, and they also have to have credit card machines accessible to passengers.

But the law says, “The shield may not have an edge or projection protruding into the area where a passenger or driver will sit or move.”

So the credit card machine isn’t supposed to be on the shield, but it is, in about two thousand cabs around the city.

Against the law, right?

“We’ll take a look at that and re-evaluate that,” said Jim Ney, with the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which regulates cabs and the installation of the credit card devices on the shields.

Stahl said to Ney, “You have things that are projecting from these shields even though the law right here says that nothing can be protruding, from these shields?”

Ney nodded, and replied, “Uh huh. We wanted to afford all passengers the security of being able to do their own transactions their own credit or debit card transaction when in a cab, and that in this particular case trumps that particular issue.”

Marc thinks until the questions are answered, and laws are enforced people are at risk.

“Should I have been wearing a seatbelt, absolutely that was stupid. Most people get in cabs and don’t wear seatbelts. No question others are in danger,” said Marc.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority says while it’s looking into the issues we raised everyone should be wearing a seat belt.

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