Toyota has created a new safety screen for use in UK cabs and taxis to protect both drivers and passengers from the possibility of coronavirus transmission.
With the easing of lockdown measures continuing, taxi and private hire car drivers are at risk from potentially catching coronavirus while carrying passengers. The lightweight Toyota safety screen is made from a clear polycarbonate material that can reduce the chances of virus transmission.
The safety screen has been rigorously tested to meet Toyota’s high safety standards, including the full deployment of the cabin airbags. Installation of the safety screens only takes 10 minutes by a Toyota-qualified technician and involves no structural changes or damaging of the interior.
The Toyota safety screen is held in place by large tabs on its lower edge that are inserted into the seatback pockets of the front seats. The screen remains stable and in place during transit at high speed, even when both rear windows are fully open.
The transparent safety screen contains a central opening flap that customers can use for cash or card payments. Although the main use of the screens will be in minicabs and taxis, the screens can also be used for demonstration vehicles and accompanied test drives.
During the design process, Toyota liaised with Transport for London (TfL) to ensure the initial medium-sized screen is TfL approved for use with PCO licence holders in Prius models and the full Corolla line-up. Approval is still being pending for a large-sized screen for use in larger vehicles such as the seven-seat Prius+ and RAV4 SUV.
The safety screens are being made by Toyota Manufacturing UK and can be ordered through Toyota retailers across the country. Prices (with VAT and fitting included) are £195 for the medium screen and £210 for the larger screen.
Stuart Ferma, Toyota, and Lexus Fleet General Manager said: “Transportation services everywhere are having to be adapted to take the risk of coronavirus transmission into account. We recognise the particular vulnerability of cab drivers and have come up with a solution we believe is effective and reasonably priced. We hope that the many drivers who loyally use our vehicles across the UK will be able to make good use of the new screens.”