Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C,I,REF-Glenville) today joined his Senate colleagues in a bi-partisan effort to pass legislation he co-sponsored to increase safety for limousine passengers in the wake of the tragic limo crash in Schoharie in October 2018 that took the lives of 20 people, several of whom were his constituents in Fulton and Saratoga Counties.
Tedisco noted that the eight bills passed by the Senate are a result of feedback he and his colleagues received at legislative hearings, one of which he was one of just three legislators to participate in at the Capitol, that he requested after meeting and speaking with families of the Schoharie crash victims. The bills also passed the Assembly today.
“The Schoharie limo crash was a terrible tragedy that should never have happened. As elected representatives we have a responsibility to public safety to learn what went wrong and do our best to help prevent something like this from ever happening again. The families of the victims have waited long enough, this holistic package of bills that I am sponsoring is a step in the right direction to keeping our roads and citizens safer,” said Senator Tedisco. “I want to again give my deepest condolences to all the family members on their senseless loss and thank them for their advocacy and everything they’ve done to turn their own personal tragedies into a cause for positive action to help ensure that what happened to their loved ones never happens to another family.”
“I’ve been told the Assembly will pass these bills this week. Once that is done, I hope it is quickly sent to the Governor for his signature. Every day these measures are not law is another day the lives of New Yorkers are at risk,” said Senator Tedisco.
One of the victims, Patrick Cushing, was a Senate Information Technology staff member, who was in Senator Tedisco’s office the day before the crash and repaired a printer.
“Patrick Cushing was a wonderful and caring young man who was an extended part of our Senate family. As we grieve for all the victims, we mourn Patrick Cushing and know that through this legislation, we will always remember him and all the victims,” said Tedisco.
The legislation that Tedisco sponsored and voted for will require limos to have rear seat belts, and commercial-grade global positioning system technology, as well as drug and alcohol testing for drivers. Additionally, the bills increase penalties for illegal U-Turns and other traffic infractions committed by an operator of a stretch limo, and require stretch limousine drivers have a commercial driver’s license with a passenger (P) endorsement. It also authorizes the DMV to immobilize or impound limos that are in violation of safety standards and creates a reporting system through a toll-free hotline for consumers to report safety concerns. The legislation also establishes a state stretch limousine passenger safety task force to review and make additional safety recommendations related to limousines.