ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — More than four years after the Schoharie limo crash, New York State lawmakers continue to work on legislation to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again. Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said the New York State Stretch Limousine Passenger Safety Task Force finished its study in October, and now their recommendations are being used for a new bill this year to improve driver and passenger safety.
“It came from their report, and I think they can continue to rely on that valuable information so that we can do our jobs here,” he said.
David Brown, CEO and President of Premier Transportation, was a part of the task force, and he says he noticed a significant change since releasing the study.
“A lot of what we implemented, a lot of what we pushed forward was better communication between DOT and the DMV, so an accident like this can never happen again,” he said.
From the DMV requiring staff to conduct a thorough search of registration and title history to the DOT and DMV seizing licenses of companies and individuals not abiding by safety and compliance regulations.
“You go to the DMV, and you tell them you want license plates or want to register a stretch limousine. It’s far more difficult to do than ever before.”
The DOT also maintains copies of incomplete or denied applications to prevent granting operating authority to a company with any safety concerns.
Assemblyman Santabarbara is looking to extend the task force to continue making recommendations to lawmakers and state agencies.
“Things are changing pretty quickly; technology changes, safety changes,” he said. “A lot of the bills were about safety that I introduced in this session.”
He also wants to get more states involved with creating their own regulations and guidelines since there are limo drivers who cross state lines.
“To make sure there is some oversight. To make sure our agencies are doing their best to ensure that vehicles that shouldn’t be on the road are not on the road,” he said.
The legislation that was introduced to the state assembly will reinstate the task force until December 2024. The group will then resume discussions and create driver and passenger safety recommendations for state agencies.