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Renewed questions about safety and regulations following deadly limo crash

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - There's now renewed questions about safety and regulations for the limousine industry after a deadly limo crash near Albany claims the lives of 20 people.

New York State has some of the strictest transportation laws and regulations in place.

Over the next several days, the National Transportation Safety Board and New York State Police will look at everything surrounding Saturday's crash. Police say the driver and the vehicle should have never been on the road.

"The driver of the limo did not have the appropriate license to operate that vehicle. The vehicle has been inspected in the past and has failed inspections," said Maj. Robert Patnaude, New York State Police.

"We're here not to find out just what happened, but why it happened and  our ultimate goal is to keep things like this from happening again," said Robert Sumwalt, Chairman of NTSB.

Some limousine companies say the regulations in place are satisfactory, but this tragedy may help enforce the regulations more.

If a limo or bus fails an inspection, it has to be taken out of service with a marked sticker on the windshield, according to NYS regulations.

Mike Smith, owner of Affordable Limousine Service in West Seneca says before getting into any limo or bus, passengers should be checking for an inspection sticker in the bottom left corner of the windshield.

Limousines and buses carrying more than 10 people are required to get inspected every six months. All vehicles have to display the company's name, the vehicle number five times, the capacity and a driver log sheet.

"They got more rules and more restrictions and things in place for your safety," said Smith.

Buses and limousines should also be equipped with emergency exits.

Smith recommends people look before they book. Look at the vehicle in person, check for any damages and research the company's rating and inspection history on the NYSDOT website.

"Sometimes price isn't the factor, everybody is looking for that, sometimes safety is more important," said Smith.


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