Watch CBS News

TLC Commissioner Stresses Importance Of Seatbelts After Bob Simon's Death

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The accident that killed "60 Minutes'' correspondent Bob Simon is a sad reminder of just how important it is for taxi passengers to buckle up, even when they're in the back seat, Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Meera Joshi said.

Around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Simon, 73, was in a Lincoln Town Car headed south when it careened out of control on the West Side Highway near 30th Street, police said.

MORE: A Look At Bob Simon's Life, Via '60 Minutes' | Bob Simon On The Life & Times Of A Foreign Correspondent

The NYPD said Simon was not wearing a seatbelt, and suffered fatal injuries when he was violently thrown from the back seat to the front of the car, CBS2's Sonia Rincon reported.

TLC Commissioner Stresses Importance Of Seatbelts After Bob Simon's Death

An autopsy Thursday determined that the cause of Simon's death was blunt force trauma to the head, torso and extremities with fractures and visceral injuries, according to the New York City Medical Examiner's office. The manner of death was an accident.

The TLC requires all of its registered vehicles to have working seatbelts, but there's no state law requiring passengers to wear them.

There has been a push as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero campaign to get passengers to buckle up but compliance is entirely voluntary.

And taxi passengers often forgo putting on their seatbelts in the back seat.

"The real tragic truth is whether it's a mandate or it's a choice, not enough people use seatbelts when they're in for-hire vehicles," Joshi told WCBS 880's Marla Diamond. "We've done some surveys on this issue and it turns out really only about 50 percent of passengers are buckling up, which is woefully low."

Joshi said passenger behavior needs to change.

"We really hope that we can all learn from this tragedy and reinforce the message that when you're in a cab, when you're in a livery please buckle up," Joshi said. "If for any reason the seatbelt is not working, please call 311."

Simon had a career that spanned more than 50 years, surviving close calls in dozens of dangerous conflicts overseas.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.