Sunday, November 28, 2004

Cabdriver Shot. A "Freak" Thing?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "freak" as "a seemingly capricious (unpredictable) action or event."
A 45-year-old taxicab driver was in critical condition last night after being shot in what Montgomery County police suspect was an attempted robbery.... "This is an unusual, freak thing," said Lt. John Hack. "Hopefully, it is not a pattern. In Montgomery County, we just don't have these problems."
So how "freak" was this shooting of a taxicab driver? The article continues:
There have been several other recent incidents of violence against cabdrivers in the Washington area. Two weeks ago, Andrew B. Kamara, a taxi driver in Northwest Washington, was found slumped over his steering wheel, shot once in the head in the 6800 block of Ninth Street NW. D.C. police are looking into whether Kamara's death is connected to four other recent taxi robberies in upper Northwest.
The problem with believing that something is "freak," unpredictable or rare means that there's little you can do about it, which, especially for most workplace injuries or fatalities, is not the case.

And it couldn't be that "freak" or unpredictable if even OSHA has a factsheet that contains protective measures to prevent violence against taxicab drivers. And there's even an organization with its own website that addresses the hazards of taxicab drivers.

Conclusion: Far from being a "freak" occurance, violence against cabdrivers is unfortunately common.