No airbags in most taxis?
HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you think airbags should be mandatory in taxis?
SINGAPORE: The recent accident involving a Ferrari crashing into a taxi — killing the taxi driver — which then hit a motorcycle has cast the spotlight on the safety of those who ply the roads here to make a living.
The accident took place at Rochor Road on Saturday morning. The driver of the Ferrari, Mr Ma Chi, died at the scene, while ComfortDelGro taxi driver, Mr Cheng Teck Hock, and his passenger, Ms Shigemi Ito, succumbed to injuries in hospital.
ComfortDelGro did not respond to Today’s queries by press time but according to ComfortDelGro taxi drivers Today spoke to the transport operator’s Hyundai Sonata taxis are not equipped with airbags.
A check with other taxi operators here showed that airbags are not an essential feature of most taxis here despite the fact that taxi drivers spend most part of a day in their vehicles.
Only Prime Taxi, which has a fleet of 700, has installed airbags in all its taxis. Its general manager, Mr Eric Ang, said: "(Taxi drivers) spend 10 hours on the road daily, so we feel it’s essential."
TransCab, which has a fleet of 4,490, said its 1,890 older Toyota Crowns do not have airbags. But these cars will be gradually phased out by 2014, said its general manager Jasmine Tan. The remaining Toyota Wish, Chevrolet and Mercedes vehicles all have airbags.
Similarly, SMRT Taxis’ older models of Toyota Crown, Nissan Cedric and London taxis are not fitted with airbags. SMRT Taxis director Tony Heng said: "These taxis will be replaced progressively with new taxis that are equipped with airbags."
According to SMART Cab director Johnny Harjantho, his company’s older fleet of Toyota Crown taxis do not have airbags. He noted that technical specifications of these taxis may also not allow for airbags to be installed. He acknowledged: "Airbags do not prevent accidents but it is a way to keep both the driver and passengers safe."
Taxi drivers whose vehicles are not equipped with airbags told Today that they are concerned about bearing the cost of installing the safety feature. Mr Tan H K, 56, said: "I would also have to send my cab in and that means loss of earnings."
But Mr Patrick Aw, 54, said: "It is something I am okay living without. If it is your time to go, not even airbags can save you."
Public Transport Council chairman Gerard Ee said he personally felt that all taxis should be equipped with airbags, since such a safety feature is commonly available.
He said: "I don’t think that safety is something that one should compromise on, especially considering the number of hours that the taxi spends on the road." He also noted that given that taxis here can only ply the roads for a maximum of seven years, even the oldest taxis can be installed with airbags.
Mr Ee said: "Taxi operators should show concern for their drivers by ensuring the taxis they rent out have airbags — they can arrange to install airbags on those which do not have them by arranging for fitting to be done on (taxi drivers’) day—off and to schedule it to minimise downtime."
YOUR SAY: Do you think airbags should be mandatory in all taxis? Sign in below with your Windows Live ID and post your thoughts.
Airbags are good for preventing further injuries(may or may not save lives as shown in the Ferrari accident) from vehicles accident ocurred while travelling on the road, be it stationary or in motion. Almost all accidents are the faults of the drivers.
When implementing airbags in all taxis Singaore, let's not forget fare-paying passengers safety. Airbags must provide adequate protections for especially backseat passengers.
Let's be the lowest dealt rate on road accident country.
Air Bags are only preventive measures and the onus is still on obeying traffic rules and driving within the speed limit. There are simply too many young punks with too much money to spare and loves indulging in fast cars and alcohol. Case in point, look at the Ferrari driver, I assume the car will have air bags. But that didn't save him from death as well.
Anyway, I doubt the airbag will have made a difference to the poor taxi driver as he was rammed at high speed from the side, unless there are airbags in the doors.
I felt airbag is something to prevent injuries it getting more serious to the driver. it doesn't really save a life. This apply to the speed limit and how fast the driver, drive as well... speed limit is still the key point in driving. secondly is to keep awake what is happening in the surrounding.. but still airbag is not a very bad choice to install..
also notice some people (on the road) might be too confident in driving which causes other accident in the expressway. e.g changing lane without signal, never check blind spot just change lane, tailgating...
The main objective of having air bag is as a safety measure for all taxi drivers. If truely sparing a tot for the taxi drivers, then that include item shouldnt result in situation where there is an increase in their taxi rental fee.
Air bag availability should not be dependent of the time a car will be replaced (e.g. in a couple of years). Currenlty, a replacement in taxi with or without airbag, result in an increase in rental fee too. If the rental price remains the same, then that is really very nice, accomodating and appreciateing of organization to each taxi driver.
Some taxi drivers do speed, but i have seen those that endure the recklessness of private cars..e..g. cutting lanes, and tailgating.. speeding cause accidents, cutting lanes also cause accidents., and most of the time, accidents occurs becoz of tailgate and cut lanes..
Not that i am siding taxi drivers.. do put yourself in their shoes, if you are on the road 12 hours or more, u will behave the same way.. one is this is not true becoz u only drive less than an hour on the road..