I am pleased to announce that several laws I championed last year to strengthen limousine regulations and improve passenger safety after the devastating 2018 limousine accident in Schoharie County have gone into effect.
Although it’s been more than two years since that deadly crash in Schoharie County, our community still aches for the family, friends, and neighbors we lost on that horrific day, and I’ve been fighting ever since to pass new laws that strengthen regulations and improve passenger safety.
Some of the laws I authored that went into effect include:
- Increase penalties for illegal U-turn violations committed by stretch limousine drivers (Ch. 4 of 2020);
- Require the state Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to establish and publicize a toll-free hotline that allows individuals to report safety issues regarding stretch limousine vehicles or drivers (Ch. 5 of 2020);
- Requires drivers of stretch limousines with seating capacities of nine or more passengers including the driver to hold a commercial driver’s license with a passenger endorsement – a license class that mandates more driver training and regular vehicle inspections – and that stretch limousines comply with DOT safety regulations (Ch. 6 of 2020).
In addition, I also co-sponsored laws authorizing the DOT to impound or immobilize stretch limousines that fail a safety inspection – and are placed out of service – until the vehicle is repaired (Ch. 9 of 2020) and a law to require motor carriers to conduct pre-employment and random drug and alcohol testing of drivers who operate stretch limousines, taxis and liveries that hold nine or more passengers including the driver (Ch. 2 of 2020).
While these laws are taking effect here in New York, I’m urging the U.S. Congress to pass similar measures in Washington, D.C. to protect passengers in every state. No community should ever have to feel this type of pain and loss again. Click HERE to read my letter to Congress.