Shanghai accident raises safety concerns over TV screens in taxis

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 March, 2013, 2:17pm
UPDATED : Friday, 15 March, 2013, 4:06pm
 

Shanghai residents urged the city to investigate the dangers of  television screens in taxis after two passengers were injured in an car accident on Tuesday.

A taxi carrying two passengers lost control and crashed into a railing, Chinese media reported. A female passenger onboard  was seriously injured. She was rushed to hospital for surgery and could lose her sight, according to a report on sina.com.

The young woman, who was not wearing a seat belt, probably struck the TV screen installed behind the front passenger seat.

According to her boyfriend, she received severe injuries to her eyes and couldn't open them after surgery on Thursday. It's not clear whether she would regain all her sight, he said on Weibo.

Many cities in mainland China, as well as Hong Kong, have introduced interactive LCD screens into taxis in the last few years. Many of these are installed on the back of front passenger seats at eye level. They broadcast programmes and commercials to passengers in the rear row.

At the end of last year, nearly 50,000 such devices were being used - allowing advertisements to reach up to 68 million passengers a month, according to media reports.

However, the safety of advertising screens was questioned as many believed they have been responsible for other accidents.

There had been several in the past year, where passengers hit their heads on the screens. Some have resulted in people being badly injured.

While wearing a seat belt can reduce the danger, there are no existing regulations in China requiring passengers in taxi back seats to wear them.

A spokesman for the Shanghai Port Authority said the safety ofTV screens would be investigated

Many netizens offered thier sympathy to the injured passengers..

One wrote, “Hopefully, this time the Shanghai government would really consider banning TV screens in taxis.”

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