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Hostile Riders to Get a Big Charge Out of Paris Taxis

October 23, 1987|ANN CONNORS

--Paris taxi drivers take a back seat to no one, especially not to hostile fares threatening their lives or their livelihood. Hence, the latest innovation in anti-crime devices for the discerning driver--hot-wired rear seats capable of giving off a 52,000-volt jolt. With the push of a discreetly placed pedal, the taxi driver can send the electricity coursing through le siege qui brule , "the seat that burns." "It's a marvelous system," said Norbert Ben-Arous, federal secretary for the Workers' Force National Federation of Transport. But a representative of riders blasted the invention. "The danger of such a demented project is obvious for anyone who is sane," said Jean-Claude Delarue of the Federation of Transport Users. "Why not also install a cobra in a cage in the back seat?" Ben-Arous said the hot seat renders an attacker "groggy for about two minutes, but he doesn't lose consciousness."

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