Total Transportation, a company that operates taxi cabs throughout Elmira is working on expanding its security measures, which involve onboard cameras.
The new measures are aimed at ensuring the safety of their drivers are taken into account and do not experience the same situation a Lyft driver in New York City went through. The Lyft driver was assaulted after a passenger told the driver to swerve in-and-out of lanes.
The driver refused and said he would pull over if the passenger did not cooperate. The passenger then stood over the driver’s seat and punched the driver repeatedly.
The inside of these taxis at Total Transportation is similar to that car we saw that attack happening– no partition to separate their drivers from the passengers.
Peter Kadar, the Vice President of Total Transportation, said it happened to their drivers before but was not as violent.
“I can recall one situation a couple of years ago where a passenger was threatening bodily harm,” Kadar said. “He (the driver) had to actually get out of the car and run away. He ran and ran and ran, they ended up catching the person.”
Kadar said their taxis are fitted with some security devices to help the drivers in the event an assault were to happen.
Chief Peter Michalko of the West Elmira Police Department said if someone assaults a driver, the aggressor could be charged with either assault or harassment, depending on if the driver is injured.