Long, long ago, all the taxis in Germany used to be black. Mercedes was always the main make of car used, in the past even more than today. They were also responsible for the new paint colour, light-ivory (RAL 1015). What they did was simply to scan down from the television tower to see which colour could be best seen by day and by night. This was preceded by the taxi-driver uprising. They wanted to get rid of the colour black, because in the summer months, the heat in the interior of the car was at least 10°C higher than the air outside.
Together with the change of colour, the legally required screen which separated the driver from the passengers also disappeared. It was first introduced to solve the problem of taxi drivers being murdered. Instead however, the screen caused numerous injuries to the passengers who neglected to use the still insufficient seat belts. Apart from that, a great deal of heat and humidity gathered in the closed in passenger section. For safety reasons, the rear doors are lockable and the windows can only be opened a little. This was to prevent customers who tried to get out without paying, from leaving the vehicle. Indeed, all that happened, was that the interior became like a sauna.
The separation-screen could not really prevent the driver from being attacked, because he had to leave the car to stow away the luggage anyhow. If one really wanted personal contact with the driver, all one had to do was to refuse to pay. An almost exaggerated feature to protect the driver, was the coded emergency call. The colleagues were then there in no time at all. There were however, also excessive attacks. Some drivers even armed themselves, which sometimes led to an escalation of the problem.
Nowadays unfortunately, the drivers can't always rely on help from their colleagues. The amount of taxis in Germany, has quintupled in the last 50 years, and each driver has to look out for him/herself … 09/13