Limo Safety Still Has A Long Way To Go
Recently, the New York State Senate passed regulation reforms to govern limousines and to make travel in these vehicles safer for passengers. The changes include a requirement that a driver must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), mandatory seat belts in vehicles designed for more than 9 passengers, and giving the authority to the New York State Department of Transportation to immobilize a limo that has a defect that has placed it out-of-service. The changes came after two deadly limousine crashes. One occurred in 2015, and the most recent, which claimed 20 lives, occurred last year.
Despite these new regulations, Limousine companies are still not making safety a priority, as CBS Local New York reports.
After a deadly limousine crash in upstate New York claimed 20 lives last year, there is growing concern over industry regulation. State and city officials generally oversee modified stretch limousines. Limousine safety standards vary widely across the country.
Dave Lipsky is an inspector who checks out limousines for the New York Department of Transportation. He says that builders sometimes cut corners, favoring luxury over safety. The placement of minibars and other amenities often come at the sacrifice of safety.
While New York has passed legislation tightening regulations for limousines, Senator Chuck Schumer would like to see tighter standards nationwide. Limousines made to the standards of one state can be driven into another without oversight. Schumer believes there should be a national standard.
The National Transportation Safety Bureau shares Schumer’s concerns. They recommend that limousine passengers use seat belts and head restraints even when not required by law.