• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 1:21am

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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This article is now closed to comments

I don't think those LCD TV screens in the back rear of the taxi is helpful to the customers sitting at the back. What I have observed from listening to people's stories about taxi rides is that, when the tv is on, they would try to find a way to turn it off or mute it. (That's what I do as well). Most customers are 1) in a hurry 2) do not want to hear anything but their own things like talking on the phone or music in their ears 3) or they just want to have a quick nap when they are catching a taxi in the morning to work/school so they do not pay attention to it.
Although it might be a method for companies to advertise their products or whatnot, but I think safety is the most important thing that a government should consider. (And as I mentioned above, I don't think people would pay attention to those advertisements) If a country is safe, then it would appeal to other foreigners to go and visit. Perhaps those companies could put a smaller screen (if they have to have the LCD screen in the car) and they can install it somewhere else or not at all. Especially given that it's "eye level", it could affect the passenger with those blinding lights infront of them.


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