There’s an article in today’s New York Times about Nissan’s new designs for NYC Taxis. Painstakingly Reimagining City’s Cabs, Down to the Floor Mats, details the various thought processes and designs for the new cabs, which will start to roll out in 2013 and then ultimately replace all taxis within 5 years. For everyone who remembers the iconic Checker Cab this is a fantastic new attempt to standardize and create a unique New York City not seen since the Checker Cab. I can’t wait. But, reading the article I was struck by the non-mention of some very important features parents have been dreaming about for years.
As any NYC parent knows, cabs are exempt from car seat laws in NYC. Often parents have to choose between the ridiculously unsafe option of putting your child on your lap with seat belt securing you in, or strapping in your tiny toddler with the seat belt in a completely unsafe position that basically beheads the child. Or you can schlep a booster seat with you everywhere, buy one of those cumbersome stroller/car seat convertible contraptions or just avoid taxis all together. Most of the time parents strap in the completely ill-sized seat belt and cross their fingers telling themselves that they are only going a short distance. We all know that means nothing, but it seems reassuring none the less.
There is a very easy solution to all this. Install integrated booster seats in the back seat of the taxis like the Volvo does in many of their cars. For a temporary solution this can’t be beat. Here’s a video of how simple it is to use:
According to this article they’ve spent days and weeks deciding such things as the sound of the horn and the exact shade of yellow, I’m sure they could spend a little bit of time actually thinking about the safety of the passengers, especially the very youngest. While booster seats wouldn’t solve the infant car seat problem many parents of infants use a car seat stroller so it’s not as big of an issue, but hopefully LATCH is standard in these cabs too. Still, I can’t help but think in all of the focus testing they did for the new cab design they should have included NYC parents. If this is truly going to be a taxi of tomorrow it should make sure that are safe to have as many tomorrows as possible.