Limousine safety laws going into effect in New York

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Following the devastating October 2018 limousine crash in Schoharie County—the nation’s deadliest transportation accident in nearly a decade—several laws to improve industry safety are going into effect in February.

“It’s been more than two years since the deadly limousine crash in Schoharie County that claimed the lives of 20 people,” said Assemblymember Angelo Santabarbara. “Our community still aches for the family members, friends and neighbors we lost on that horrific day.”

“The new laws are long overdue and will help us better protect our families and ultimately save lives,” said Santabarbara, who represents the area. He has consistently championed the measures, some of which he authored. These include legislation that:

  • Ensures stretch limos meet safety standards, like seatbelts and GPS requirements
  • Imposes stricter oversight on drivers, by requiring commercial licenses with a passenger endorsement and random drug and alcohol screening
  • Lets individuals easily report safety issues through a toll-free hotline
  • Increases penalties for illegal limo U-turns
  • Lets the Department of Transportation impound or immobilize stretch limos that fail safety inspections

That lates came about after it was reported that the Department of Transportation had been investigating the limousine company involved in the Schoharie crash over a year before it occurred and had twice ordered the limousine off the road for failing safety inspections.

In a written statement, Santabarbara said the federal government should enact similar statutes to protect citizens nationwide.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the landmark limousine safety reforms last week. “These far-reaching reforms deliver much-needed protections that will help keep dangerous vehicles off our roadways, crack down on businesses that do not prioritize safety and will give New Yorkers piece of mind when they enter a limo in this state,” he said. “New York stands with those who lost loved one in the horrific crashes that inspired this legislation and I commend the family members who worked tirelessly to help pass these bills to help prevent future tragedies.” 

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