Will Limos Be Required To Use Seatbelts?
Whether a limousine is being hired for a birthday party, graduation, prom, wedding, anniversary, or another special event, passenger safety is always a concern. The truth is that stretch limousines and other vehicles designed to carry more than ten passengers aren’t required to have seatbelts. However, there are other regulations designed to keep passengers safe. Federal regulations are set on inspection and repair, driver qualifications, and how long a driver can be on the road. However, recent deadly accidents have called the safety of limousines in question, leading some to call for federal oversight, as Newsday reports.
Last Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on the National Transportation Safety Board to prioritize limousine safety, including making seatbelts mandatory, installing side-impact airbags, and requiring annual federal inspections.
According to Schumer, if the agency didn’t draft safety regulations within six months, then Congress would begin drafting legislation on its own.
Those who criticize the stretch limousine industry say that the vehicles can carry 15 to 20 passengers often operate in a black hole. There are few requirements governing the installation of seat belts, air bags, or anti-intrusion bars.
In the wake of tragedies like a 2015 accident that claimed the lives of 4 passengers in a limousine and a 2018 accident that killed 20 people, some people are calling for more regulation of the industry.
Penny Casey, who is the president of the Long Island Limousine Association, says that her organization supports the reforms. The organization represents 100 area companies.