Monday, August 15, 2011
Fire Alarm Ruling Goes Against NYC
A federal judge has ruled against New York City's plan to get rid of fire alarm boxes. The judge says doing so would discriminate against the deaf. Manhattan Federal Judge Robert Sweet says the city's plan to use payphones won't work because, "Public payphones are not located on every other corner or distributed evenly throughout the city." He also pointed out that as many as a quarter of the payphones don't work. New York has devised a "tapping system" so the deaf can use the payphones in emergencies, but Sweet says the city hasn't shown that the system works or that the deaf know how to use it. City lawyers say the desire to get rid of the fire alarm boxes is a practical one. About 9 out of 10 fire box calls are false alarms and the deaf rarely use them. The city may appeal the ruling.