Exiting a vehicle into the path of a cyclist is illegal and dangerous to passengers and cyclists. It's a daily occurrence in New York City, and it's sometimes deadly. It's always preventable. With the arrival of bike share, the need to address this threat to cyclists and passengers is more urgent than ever. Taxis must be equipped with automated, audible warnings to passengers about the dangers of dooring.
Dear Commissioner Yassky:
We demand that all New York City taxis, including the current fleet and the "taxi of tomorrow" fleet, be equipped immediately with automated voice messages that give passengers a clearly audible, plain-English warning about the danger of dooring, such as "Look behind you before exiting." The announcement should activate automatically when the meter is stopped at the end of a journey.
This will be quite different from the unpopular "buckle up" warnings recorded by celebrities several years ago. This will be short and not cute, and will therefore not annoy passengers.
This change is simple to implement, capable of preventing injuries on day one, and it will help spread awareness to all car occupants, not just taxi riders. We are aware that the "taxi of tomorrow" is equipped with sliding passenger doors. That mitigates the danger, but it does not eliminate it. Passengers still need to be warned not to step into the roadway without looking back first.
Commissioner Yassky, please begin work on implementing this important safety improvement today. Thank you for your attention.