Stricter Federal Limousine Regulations Passes the U.S. House Committee
UNITED STATES – June 22, 2020 – According to an online news report by TimesUnion.com, a new legislative bill offering a broad transportation package designed to close the “limousine loophole” was passed by a House committee on Thursday. The safety measure will reclassify vehicles designed to transport nine or more passengers as commercial vehicles. The current law classifies commercial vehicles as vehicles that transport 15 or more passengers. The bill would make limousine subject to more rigorous safety standards. The bill also encourages states to impound motor vehicles that do not pass key safety inspections by providing states with additional funding. This committee vote is the first step toward a House and Senate passage.
These new safety measures are part of several new safety measures aimed at solving the root cause of the tragic limousine accident back in October 2019. The tragic limousine accident in New York resulted in the death of 20 people. Several key members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives created the bill with the loved ones who tragically died in the 2015 Long Island limousine collision.
In the bill, a new federal requirement would mandate that all new limousines have lap-shoulder restraints for each seat. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which investigated the Schoharie crash, provided this recommendation back in October 2019. The bill would also grant the federal government powers to begin mandating seat belt systems in all limousines and to grant states the authority to inspect limousines and ensure all limousine seat belts are available and are in functional condition.
In January 2019, the New York state legislature passed new limousine reforms: installing seat belts in limousines and permitting the state to remove any defective limousine from the road. New York state’s legislation also created a new task force to assess further limousine safety measures, require all “stretch” limousines to utilize GPS technology, and establishes a new website and hotline for individuals to report any limousine safety concerns. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the new limousine bill into law back in February 2019.
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