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baltimoresun.com

Unarmed and endangered: Pizza delivery drivers

2:15 PM EST, January 4, 2013

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There are brave souls in Baltimore who put their lives on the line every time they report for work. No, I am not referring to Baltimore's courageous police officers or firefighters; I mean the people who deliver pizzas across the city at all hours of day and night.

A recent article focused on one driver for Pizza Hut who was taken off his delivery job because he carried a stake with him ("Punished for self-defense, driver says," Jan. 2). Yet these people need protection or at least a way to defend themselves.

One solution to the pizza delivery problem is to arm the drivers and post warnings to that effect on their vehicles. Send two people rather than just one on every delivery run and require customers to come out to the vehicle to pick up their pizzas.

Requiring defenseless employees to approach strangers' homes is an invitation to disaster. Sure, it will cost the pizzerias more money, but this is a question of safety rather than of convenience.

Pizza shop owners could drop restaurant prices to attract more customers to eat in-house. Or impose a mandatory delivery charge for home orders. Perhaps that would lessen the calls from criminals who lure drivers to their neighborhoods in order to rob them.

One thing is certain: Home pizza delivery is not going away. It's too profitable for the pizza places and too convenient for customers. The drivers need a way to protect themselves and the status quo doesn't allow them to do that.

Patrick R. Lynch, Nottingham

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