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New Limo Legislation Strengthens Safety Standards

Ten new reforms and safety standards were signed into effect by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday, strengthening safety standards for limousine companies in New York State after the limo crash in Schoharie that killed 20 people in 2018.

According to the governor’s office, the reforms include “seatbelt requirements, immobilization of defective limousines, increased penalties for illegal U-turns, GPS requirements, customer service resource requirements, regular validation of vehicle and driver safety information, new commercial driver’s license requirements for limousine drivers, creation of a passenger task force and drug and alcohol testing.”

Companies like Uptown Limousine and Greater Binghamton Limousine Service say they have been following the regulations without being required to.

“I would say that 99 percent of people operate on a safety conscious mind because, I mean, it’s on their conscience,” said Bob Palencar, Owner of Uptown Limousine.

“Hopefully the governor’s ‘new’ laws will get rid of the fly by night car services who not only operate illegally, but are a danger to those passengers,” said Michael Weisberg, President of Greater Binghamton Limousine.

For Palencar, the cost of insurance is the largest problem that could change with the new legislation, increasing even before the Schoharie crash.

“They’ve been at this awhile,” said Palencar.

Weisberg suggests that clients ask questions about safety and inspection records when looking to use a limousine service.

“The companies who cannot provide that information at the drop of a hat should tell you all you need to know,” said Weisberg.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, large trucks and buses accounted for 13% of traffic fatalities in 2017.

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