ALBANY, NY – According to The timesunion.com, Andrew Cuomo dropped his proposed ban on stretch limousines. The proposal was presented in response to the tragic traffic accident that killed 20 people in Schoharie last October.
Cuomo proposed the bill about a month before he ultimately decided to strike it from the executive budget. The change of heart was applauded by many limousine companies that were concerned that the ban went too far and that it would force many companies to sell their fleets and be put out of business.
Kevin Barewell from the Limousine Bus Taxi Operators of New York called the proposal a “knee jerk reaction” and stated that the voice of limousine companies had been heard.
Stretch limousines like the one involved in the fatal crash are normal limousines, cars, or SUVs that have been cut down the middle and elongated in order to add additional seating. The move pushes the carrying capacity and stretches the cabin beyond the intended wheelbase.
The vehicles are frequently used for special events such as weddings or proms. These vehicles are subject to regulations and must have a tag on them indicating that they comply with federal law.
The vehicle that crashed in October was a 2001 Ford Excursion that was carrying 18 people. The limo had been stretched close to 20 years ago and was purchased used. Everyone in the vehicle was killed in the crash, and the Excursion struck and killed two pedestrians as well. The vehicle failed two inspections prior to the accident and was missing the tag that should indicate that it complied with federal regulations.
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