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Daily Israel Report

Bill To Protect Taxi Drivers Adds Partitions, Panic Buttons

Knesset member Majalli Wahabi (Kadima) submit a proposal Monday to establish a requirement to protect taxi drivers after recent murders.

By Malkah Fleisher
First Publish: 12/1/2009, 11:07 AM / Last Update: 12/1/2009, 11:30 AM

Knesset member Majalli Wahabi (Kadima) submitted a proposal Monday establishing a requirement to protect taxi drivers, following two recent taxi driver murders. Yafim Weinstein from Nazareth Illit  was murdered on Monday, and Haamzah Haamzah, a neighbor of Wahabi's from Beit Jan in the Galilee, was murdered 10 days ago in his cab.

During a condolence visit to the Haamzah residence, Wahabi promised the driver's family that he would work to improve the personal safety of taxi drivers. All taxi drivers would be required to install barriers between the passenger section and the driver's section of the vehicle, as well as a panic button linked to the Israel police department, according to the proposed law. The bill proposes that the state pay half the cost of the barrier.

Wahabi referred to the security arrangment in place in many New York City cabs, in which partitions separate the driver and passengers.

Additionally, Wahabi urged the installation of panic buttons for the use of the driver, which would alert the closest police station that the driver is experiencing an emergency.