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April 23, 2013

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2,000 taxi ad screens removed over safety

A LOCAL taxi company has removed 2,000 back-seat advertising screens belonging to iTaxi Media after they were deemed unsafe, following an order from traffic authorities.

Officials with Shanghai Transport and Port Administration also have ordered that other cab companies stop installing new screens offered by Touchmedia during the contract period.

The cab companies also should not renew contracts with Touchmedia, the administration said.

The action came after reports of injury and death to passengers riding in taxis with advertising screens, officials said yesterday.

The Blue Union Taxi Co was ordered by the administration to stop using the advertising screens offered by iTaxi Media, which failed national safety standard for sharp items in tests conducted by the city's quality watchdog.

The screens have been removed from all the company's cabs, according to officials.

The administration also required the Dazhong, Qiangsheng, Haibo and Jinjiang taxt companies, major cab operators in the city, to stop installing new back-seat advertising screens from Touchmedia in their cars.

There are 22,000 Touchmedia screens installed in local cabs.

However, it said Touchmedia screens met safety standards in tests which simulated car crashes.

Touchmedia was asked to make adjustments like wrapping a new protective cushion outside the plastic frames and advertising screen boards to enhance safety before May 20 since the contracts have not expired, the administration said.

Inspections will be conducted to see whether safety improvements have been made, officials said.

Local taxi companies would not say when their contracts with Touchmedia will expire.

However, the actions were challenged by some relatives and friends of some victims, who said all the contracts should be terminated.

"Most accidents related with back-seat advertising screens involved Touchmedia, why are screens of iTaxi Media removed instead of Touchmedia's?" posted the boyfriend of a young woman injured in a crash.

The woman suffered severe head injuries after hitting the Touchmedia screen during an accident last month.


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