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New limo safety laws making its way through NYS legislation

WBFO news file

The New York State Transportation Committee is looking to pass multiple bills next week to improve limousine safety. Limos would now have to include seatbelts, escape hatches, and roll bars and drivers would need criminal background checks and would have to carry a commercial driver’s license.

Support for the bill comes less than a year after 20 people died in a limousine crash in Schoharie last October.

Committee Chairmen Senator Tim Kennedy said these bills are driven by the families who lost their loved ones in limo crashes.

“We want to insure that the industry is held to account,” Kennedy said. “We’re doing that in broad strokes. There are ten bills that we believe will take the industry to a new level of safety.”

Kennedy said he’s optimistic the bills will move through the Assembly and the Senate before the legislative session ends on June 19.

“The limousine industry should be safe. And unfortunately, these horrific crashes that took the lives of so many New Yorkers have shone a light on the industry that there are many different problems within that need to be addressed,” he said.

Kennedy said there are plenty of companies currently following the law, but the ones who are not need to be kept in check.

“The sad reality is, there are companies that don’t follow the law. There are companies that are not operating in a safe and legal manner. Those bad actors need to be held accountable,” he said.

Kennedy added he’d also like to increase penalties for breaking limo laws. 

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