This is another of my ‘this is China’ pictures. Nearly every taxi here seems to have these metal bar grills between the driver and passengers.
I personally find them kind of amusing because you can quite easily stick your hand and arm in between the bars so if someone is going to rob/attack the driver I don’t see the bars giving much protection . . .
The real threat, in my mind, is to the passengers. Julianne and I have not had any bad experiences with brakes being slammed insanely hard to avoid scooters/cars/vans/buses/trucks/pedestrians . . . although we have been in taxis swerving, veering, and braking somewhat strongly to avoid collisions. The threat is that if there WAS an actual accident Julianne and I would be getting skull x-rays to see how badly the high speed impact with the bars damaged our noggins . . . not cool.
All this being said I wonder how a high speed impact with safety glass (plastic?)/protection barriers used in North American taxis would compare with impact with the metal bars–I think, given a ‘choice,’ that I’d take the North American option.
Anyways, definitely a good example of a cultural difference in an everyday kind of situation.