Limo safety package delivered, awaits Cuomo’s signature

State Legislature

FILE – In this Oct. 6, 2018, file photo, a limousine, left, has landed in the woods following a fatal crash in Schoharie, N.Y. A memorial to the 20 people killed when the limousine barreled into an embankment a year ago is being unveiled at the rural upstate New York crash site. The memorial featuring 20 stones in a semicircle is to be viewed privately by family members and first responders Saturday morning, Oct. 5, 2019. (Tom Heffernan Sr. via AP, File)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Ten limousine safety reform measures approved by the state legislature two weeks ago were delivered to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for his signature Thursday. The limo safety omnibus includes:

  • Senate Bill S6185B requires the commissioner of transportation to set up, maintain, and publicize a hotline where anyone can report safety issues with stretch limos. The DMV would operate the hotline and use any reports to decide whether a motor carrier should continue running.
  • Senate Bill S6186B relates to drug and alcohol testing and requirements for for-hire vehicle drivers.
  • Senate Bill S6187C requires stretch limos to use commercial GPS technology to account for the vehicle’s clearance, weight restrictions, and turning radius.
  • Senate Bill S6188B described penalties for traffic infractions by drivers of stretch limos or other vehicles that seat nine or more.
  • Senate Bill S6189C establishes a safety task force to conduct a comprehensive review of the safety, adequacy, efficiency, and reliability of stretch limos hired to transport passengers.
  • Senate Bill S6191C mandates installing two front seat belts, seat belt signage, and as many seat belts in the back as there are seats in stretch limos and vehicles modified to be stretch limos.
  • Senate Bill S6192A defines stretch limos as vehicles that seat nine or more and requires that drivers have commercial licenses.
  • Senate Bill S6193C identifies how and why the Commissioner of Transportation can impound stretch limos in need of repair and release them from impound. It also assesses a $10,000 penalty for releasing stretch limos from impound without the commissioner’s approval.
  • Senate Bill S6604B requires every motor carrier to list their altered stretch limos for the DMV. It also requires the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to annually review the bus driver files of each driver employed by stretch limo companies.
  • Senate Bill S7134 requires passengers under 16 to wear seat belts in taxis and livery vehicles.

Cuomo has 10 days—not counting Sundays—to sign or veto the bills.

These reforms come after about half a year of work by state legislators to craft an inclusive package of service vehicle and driver safety reforms. Lawmakers hope new regulations will prevent tragedies like the Schoharie limo crash in the future.

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