Limit on Limousines’ Miles Is Among New York Safety Panel’s 16 Recommendations

By Maysoon Khan, Associated Press/Report for America | October 5, 2022

A New York state task force created after a 2018 limo crash that killed 20 people issued a safety report with recommendations including equipping the vehicles with side impact protection devices and taking them off the roads after a certain number of miles.

The 16-recommendation report from the task force was submitted Friday to Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state Legislature, and also called for mandatory pre-trip safety briefings that would educate passengers on the safety features of a vehicle in case of an emergency.

“We look forward to taking swift action to implement the appropriate recommendations from the task force to help ensure safer transportation for New Yorkers,” Will Burns, a spokesperson for Hochul, said.

In October 2018, a Ford Excursion SUV which had been turned into a stretch limo crashed into an embankment near a popular store in Schoharie, New York, after blowing through a T-intersection. The driver and 17 people inside the vehicle, out for a birthday celebration, were killed, along with two pedestrians.

State authorities said the limousine had brake problems, and that passengers shouldn’t have been allowed to ride in it. The National Transportation Safety Board issued a report saying that while the owner’s “egregious disregard for safety” likely caused the brake failure, ineffective state oversight also played a role.

It was the deadliest U.S. transportation accident in nearly a decade, pushing lawmakers and then Gov. Andrew Cuomo to pass a package of limo safety legislation.

David Brown, owner of Albany-based limousine service Premiere Transportation and one of the 11 members of task force, said one recommendation that calls for better communication between state agencies was the “biggest takeaway” from the report.

It calls for better and enhanced communication between the state Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Transportation, and state police.

Photo: Postcrash passenger side view of the 2001 Ford Excursion limousine (not in the crash final rest position). Source: NTSB.

Topics New York

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