Task force urges safety improvements for stretch limos

Oct 3, 2022, 3:54 PM | Updated: 4:07 pm

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Stretch limousines, like the one involved in a 2018 wreck that killed 20 people, should be equipped with side-impact protection devices and taken off the road if they are more than 10 years old, according to a New York task force convened to study safety problems with the oversized vehicles.

The report, submitted Friday to the state’s governor and legislature, also recommended that limo drivers get more training and that passengers get a pre-trip safety demonstration, like the kind people get on airplanes, showing how to use seatbelts and escape a vehicle after a crash.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration intends to take “swift action” to implement the recommendations, said her spokesperson, Will Burns.

State officials convened the task force to study oversized limos in the aftermath of the deadliest U.S. transportation accident of the past 13 years.

On Oct. 6, 2018, a Ford Excursion SUV, which had been turned into a stretch limo, carrying a group of friends to a birthday celebration sped out of control on a hill and drove into a gully in Schoharie, New York. The driver and 17 passengers were killed, along with two pedestrians.

State authorities said the limousine had brake problems and 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.

The limo’s operator had been able to keep the vehicle on the road even after it repeatedly failed safety inspections.

Lawmakers and then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo passed a package of limo safety legislation, but the task force was convened to study other possible changes. Among the task force’s new recommendations was that stretch limos be taken out of service after 350,000 miles.

David Brown, owner of Albany-based limousine service Premiere Transportation and one of the 11 members of task force, said his “biggest takeaway” from the report was a recommendation for better communication between state agencies responsible for enforcing commercial vehicle safety.

___

Maysoon Khan is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow Maysoon Khan on Twitter.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Elderly residents are evacuated by a local organization from the southern city of Kherson, Ukraine,...
Associated Press

Ukraine on edge for more attacks, West eyes humanitarian aid

KYIV (AP) — Ukraine prepared for more Russian strikes on Monday and warned of the possibility for a new round of evacuations from the capital during a relative lull from the airstrikes on energy facilities and other key infrastructure in recent weeks. In the West, meanwhile, preparations were stepped up to boost humanitarian aid to […]
5 hours ago
Wreaths hang on the Truman Balcony of the White House in Washington, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. (AP Pho...
Associated Press

‘We the People’ is the White House’s theme for the holidays

WASHINGTON (AP) — Drawing decorating inspiration from America’s founding documents, Jill Biden chose a “We the People” theme to deck the White House halls and to remind Americans of what unites them throughout the year, especially during the holidays. Journalists were given a sneak peek early Monday before the first lady was to unveil the […]
5 hours ago
FILE - Holding cells are visible in a basement of a police station that was used by Russian forces ...
Associated Press

Biden boosts US effort to stem sexual violence in war zones

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is strengthening U.S. policy aimed at stemming sexual violence in war conflict zones, elevating the problem — increasingly documented in Ukraine and elsewhere — to the level of a possible serious human rights abuse that triggers sanctions and other actions against foreign perpetrators. Biden, a Democrat, on Monday will […]
5 hours ago
FILE - Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., speaks during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs ...
Associated Press

Democrats kept the Senate this year, but 2024 may be harder

NEW YORK (AP) — Democrats celebrating a successful effort to keep control of the U.S. Senate this year will soon confront a 2024 campaign that could prove more challenging. The party enters the next cycle defending 23 seats, including two held by independents who caucus with Democrats. That’s compared with just 10 seats that Republicans […]
5 hours ago
Associated Press

Water levels in Zimbabwe’s biggest dam too low for power

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Electricity shortages that have been plaguing Zimbabwe are set to worsen after an authority that manages the country’s biggest dam said water levels are now too low to continue power generation activities. The Zambezi River Authority, which runs the Kariba Dam jointly owned by Zimbabwe and neighboring Zambia, said in a […]
5 hours ago
FILE - The Federal Correctional Institution is shown in Dublin, Calif., July 20, 2006. The former w...
Associated Press

Ex-prison warden faces trial over inmate abuse allegations

The former warden of an abuse-plagued federal women’s prison known as the “rape club” goes on trial Monday, accused of molesting inmates and forcing them to pose naked in their cells. Ray J. Garcia, who retired after the FBI found nude photos of inmates on his government-issued phone last year, is among five workers charged […]
5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Task force urges safety improvements for stretch limos