ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)–The New York State Limo Safety Task Force has made more than a dozen recommendations to make limos safer for the public. That report has recently been released and could make new limo laws moving forward.
This week will mark four years since a horrific limo crash in Schoharie took the lives of 20 people.
Kevin Cushing’s son, Patrick, was killed in the crash. He is one of the members of the task force.
“What we needed to do with those laws and the work that we needed to do here, is make it just more difficult for people to have unsafe limousines on the road,” said Kevin Cushing.
One recommendation is to make sure stretch limousines are up to DOT standards.
“That means the vehicle has to get inspected, that means the driver has to go through drug testing, criminal background checks. There would also be signage in the limousines too,” explained David Brown, task force member and limo company owner.
According to Brown, if passengers have a complaint or concern, a toll free New York State number would be visible for them to call if they don’t feel safe during their ride. Limo companies themselves would also have a rating.
“There’s going to be recommended, approved, and not approved. So somebody going in there and saying hey, this guy has a below 70 % rate, and he’s not recommended by DOT, buyer beware. You might not want to go with them,” said Brown.
Cushing also brought up this recommendation in an interview with Political Correspondent, Jamie DeLine.
“You’ll be able to understand if they have had their vehicles taken off the road. The age of their vehicles. We really need to educate people to do that before they call and basically hire a limousine, and it shouldn’t be just based off a price,” stated Cushing.
Another point, taking stretch limos off the road if they reach 10 years of age or have 350,000 miles on them. The task force also recommended exploring liability for passengers who fail to use seatbelts.
Cushing and other members of the task force wanted to delay the release of their report until
after the New York State Inspector General’s investigation was complete. But that would mean the task force would have missed its October 1 report deadline.
“Myself and others are just going to make every effort going forward that the IG report and other reports that come out allow us to reconvene and put that into our future report with the governor,” said Cushing.
A spokesperson for Governor Hochul released a statement which said in part, “We look forward to taking swift action to implement the appropriate recommendations from the Task Force to help ensure safer transportation for New Yorkers.”