Senate Majority Pass Comprehensive Limo Regulation Reforms To Better Protect New Yorkers

David Carlucci

June 06, 2019

(Albany, NY) The Senate Democratic Majority today passed regulation reforms designed to make traveling in limos safer and provide peace of mind for those who enlist the alternate form of transportation statewide. The bills were created in collaboration with families of victims involved in limo crashes in Schoharie last October and Cutchogue in July 2015.

 “We saw a devastating limo crash in 2018 in Upstate New York that left 18 family and friends and two pedestrians dead. The SUV limo in this case had failed state inspections and was still operated. Since this tragic accident, we are taking action to ensure limos are safer by requiring more safety screenings and requiring seat belts in altered vehicles, carrying nine or more people. These common-sense measures, we hope, will save lives and prevent future tragedies,” said Senator David Carlucci.

The package of legislation advanced by the Senate Majority includes:

New CDL Requirements for Limo Drivers: This bill, S.6192, introduced by Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, Senator Tim Kennedy, requires limo drivers to have commercial driver’s licenses with a passenger endorsement, which ensures that drivers are tested on the vehicles that they will be relied on to operate.

Seatbelt Requirements: This bill, S.6191-A, sponsored by Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, Senator Tim Kennedy, requires seat belts in any altered vehicle transporting nine or more passengers, in addition to the implementation of anti-intrusion bars and of push out escape windows.

Immobilization of Defective Limos: This bill, S.6193-A, sponsored by Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, Senator Tim Kennedy, authorizes the DOT to immobilize or impound a stretch limo with an out-of-service or horn-related defect.

Amended Limo Insurance Coverage: This bill, S.5329-A, introduced by Senator Neil Breslin, creates new minimum liability insurance requirements for for-hire vehicles carrying 8 or more passengers.

Increased Penalties for Illegal U-Turns: This bill, S.6188-A, introduced by Senator Jim Gaughran, expands financial and criminal penalties for large passenger motor carriers who make illegal U-turns and illegally run red lights, and also includes increased financial penalties when those same vehicles speed.

GPS Requirements for Limos: This bill, S.6187-A, introduced by Senator Jim Gaughran, requires every stretch limo to have a commercial GPS while operating in New York State.

Creation of Passenger Task Force: This bill, S.6189-A, introduced by Senator Anna Kaplan, establishes a task force to further examine limo regulations, including safety training programs, the need for rearview cameras, airbags, and speed restriction devices, and the number of miles or years a stretch limo can be on the road.

Drug/Alcohol Testing: This bill, S.6186-A, sponsored by Senator Metzger, mandates random drug and alcohol testing for for-hire vehicles carrying nine or more occupants.New Customer Service Resources: This bill, S.6185, sponsored by Senator Rachel May, creates an app, hotline, and website for New Yorkers to report safety and customer service issues with stretch limos.