Last October, one of the deadliest transportation accidents in U.S. history involved a limousine in upstate New York. A converted 2001 Ford Excursion crashed, killing 20 people including the passengers, the driver and two pedestrians. The vehicle had a history of mechanical problems.
In light of this horrific tragedy, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced limo safety reforms. Most of the proposals will likely have to be approved by the state legislature. The reform is taking reign on remanufactured limousines to increase public safety and hold businesses accountable.
A proposal for an outright ban
One of the more broad-sweeping reforms Governor Cuomo is asking for is an “outright ban on the registration of remanufactured limousines, prohibiting their operation in New York State." This would include both stretch limos and stretch SUVs, similar to the one in last October’s deadly crash.
Here are some of the other highlighted reforms in Governor Cuomo’s proposal:
- Requirement for a special commercial driver license to operate for-hire vehicles with 8 or more passengers.
- Penalty reform for removing an “out-of-service” sticker issued by the Department of Transportation, making it a felony.
- U-turn prohibition for all larger vehicles.
- Removal of the seatbelt exemption for limos as well as other larger vehicles such as buses, school buses and taxis.
These are just some of the regulatory reform measures Governor Cuomo has taken on after some criticized the state for not taking more aggressive action. If the reform were to go into effect, it would certainly impact both drivers and insurers.