Governor Kathy Hochul today signed legislation (S.7563/A.8493A) ensuring the Stretch Limousine Passenger Safety Task Force issues its final report by extending the deadline six months, from its original November 1, 2021 deadline to October 1, 2022.
State Senator Anna M. Kaplan said "We created the Stretch Limo Passenger Safety Task Force because we need to do more to make sure there is never another tragedy like Cutchogue or Schoharie again, and it's crucial that the Task Force is given the time and resources that it needs to get the job done right. This bill will allow the Task Force to do their vital work to ensure we're protecting New Yorkers safety on the road."
"We owe it to the families of those who were lost in the Schoharie tragedy to make real change that will prevent anything like it ever happening again," Governor Hochul said. "The best way to honor the memory of the victims is to act with urgency in getting answers as to what caused the crash in 2018. I am signing this legislation to ensure the critical mission of the Task Force is no longer delayed and the appointees have a deadline they can work toward in earnest."
Last October, Governor Hochul took action to revive the Stretch Limousine Passenger Safety Task Force after it sat idle, failing to convene since its inception in 2020. As soon as the Governor made appointments to the Task Force, agencies mobilized and began working to hold the first meeting. The Task Force has been diligently working through recommendations, is reviewing safety measures, and is exploring all options to deliver the best product to help ensure better protection for passengers.
The 11-member Stretch Limousine Passenger Safety Task Force was established to recommend safety and enforcement improvements in the industry. Members of the Task Force include State Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder, State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez, Superintendent of the New York State Police Kevin Bruen, Westchester County Director of Operations Joan McDonald, Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll, President and CEO of Premiere Transportation David J. Brown, Co-Owner of Red Oak Transportation Edward Stoppelmann, retired Department of Transportation inspector Ron Barton, State Police investigator Albro Fancher, and parents of victims involved in the crash, Kevin Cushing and Nancy DiMonte.
Assemblymember Amy Paulin said, "It is critical that the work of the Stretch Limousine Passenger Safety Task Force proceed with its report as quickly and decisively as the victims of the crash deserve. This legislation will ensure that the Task Force is given the necessary timeline to issue carefully considered guidance on steps we can take ensure nothing like this ever happens again."
The Task Force has met twice so far, on February 3 and March 15, 2022. The next public meeting will be on Friday, April 29, 2022.