ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — When the tragic Schoharie limo crash happened, it was deemed one of the deadliest transportation accidents in nearly a decade. Now, two years later, new limousine safety laws are taking effect. Included in the new legislation are regulations such as drug tests and commercial licenses for drivers.
“The families are happy that there are changes being made, but they want to see those changes being enforced and they want to see people accepting responsibility and that’s something they haven’t seen yet,” explained attorney, Cynthia LaFave.
As of this month, before limo drivers get behind the wheel, they now have new requirements.
“The driver has to go through extensive background checks,” explained David Brown, President and Owner of Premiere Transportation. “Initially when they come in they get drug tested, and then they go into a random pool, where they are tested down the line also.”
But that’s not the only new requirement.
“8 passengers or more, the driver has to have a commercial drivers license,” said Brown. “This is all new. You just can’t throw a person with a livery, a taxi cab or Sudan license into that limousine anymore he has to have a full commercial drivers license.”
Operators can also receive increased fines and penalties for making illegal U-turns. According to new legislation, the Commissioner of Transportation has the ability to pull limousines off the road in certain situations.
“To enable DOT with these new powers— to confiscate limousines, to take those vehicles away, that’s a big step,” stated Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara.
While limo laws have changed here in New York State, News 10 is told that there is a push to make these new laws, federal in an effort to prevent more lives from being lost.