ALBANY, N.Y. — The State Assembly, in cooperation with the State Senate and Governor Andrew Cuomo, passed a comprehensive limousine safety bill adding ten laws to increase limousine safety. An article appearing on WIVB.com suggested that the newly passed laws represent a hard-fought compromise between the governor and both houses of the New York State legislature. Two tragic limousine crashes in New York that claimed 24 lives served as the inspiration to achieve a compromise that straddles the line between increasing limo passenger safety and being excessively burdensome on limousine companies. In 2015, four young women died in a horrific limousine crash on Long Island. Three years later, twenty people riding in a limousine in Schoharie County perished in a limo accident.
The state’s new limousine laws obligate all limousine companies to equip their vehicles with seatbelts. Additionally, each limo must pass a thorough state inspection before the vehicle can go into service. Any limo found by law enforcement to violate the state’s inspection laws will be impounded or seized immediately. The limo involved in that deadly crash in Schoharie failed at least three safety inspections before crashing. Limo companies will now be required to carry a larger insurance policy for all vehicles in their fleet.
Although the laws have not taken effect to this point, smaller limo companies say that the financial obligation is too great to remain in business despite the compromise with the governor and both houses of the state legislature. The small business owners indicated that there was no way for them to remain in business because of the cost. Larger companies will be better equipped to absorb the cost. The state’s new limo regulations will help prevent, but sadly not eliminate, devastating accidents involving limousines.
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