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Buckling up and building up

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
November 12, 2013 1:57:34 PM PST
Thanks for all the feedback and responses to this space Monday, talking about buckling up in the back seat of taxi cabs. Turns out, so many otherwise smart peeps - who would never think of NOT fastening their seat belts in their own cars - often do not buckle up in taxis. As if someone riding in a cab gives you some sort of protective shield? A kind of get-out-of-an-accident-free-card?

You kiddin' me?

Yesterday's deadly crash between a cab and a box truck - a crash that killed a woman who was walking on the sidewalk - raised this issue again because we don't know whether the three people who survived but were hurt were wearing their seat belts.

The plexi-glass partitions in cabs - designed to protect drivers from getting shot - are nose-breakers. Pure and simple. Stop short without a belt in the back seat, and your schnoze hits the plexiglass. Bam! Broken nose.

It got so bad in New York City - there were tens of thousands of broken noses in the mid-90s - that officials introduced taped announcements when the meter went on, with celebrity voices, urging people to please, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S WORTHY, buckle up. Remember those? Elmo and Eartha Kitt and Derek Jeter and a slew of others?

Tonight at 11, we're looking into seat belt use, and whether the three people in the hospital from that taxi accident (did the cabbie run a red light at the crazy-nuts section of Park Avenue in East Harlem?) were buckled up.

Also at 11, so is yours bigger than mine? All the big problems facing New York City and Chicago, and you'd think that who's got the tallest building would be, oh, say, 93rd in terms of priority. But noooooo. The shouting match between the new One World Trade and Chi-town's Willis Tower got louder and louder, until today, when a group of architects in charge of such dispute-settlements ruled that One World Trade's spire- which brings the building to a height of 1,776 feet - is indeed a permanent fixture, and not just an antenna.

Now, we've settled that. As if it mattered. We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast (with the coldest temps since March!), and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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