The Stretch Limousine Passenger Safety Task Force – which was formed as part of legislation that passed in the wake of the 2018 Schoharie limo tragedy – met for the second time in March. The legislation creating the task force was signed by former Governor Andrew Cuomo in February 2020, a month before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, so the panel remained dormant for some time.
In October, Governor Kathy Hochul, who took office following Cuomo’s August resignation, announced new appointments would be made and the task force met for the first time in February of 2022. The following month, the 11-member body – comprised of state and local officials, transportation industry stakeholders, and family members of those involved in limousine crashes in Schoharie and Long Island – met for the second time to discuss several topics.
The task force is examining New York’s limousine safety rules. Agenda items included driver training requirements, limo safety inspection rules, vehicle retirement ages and ways to educate customers on limo safety. Several times during the meeting, David Brown, President and CEO of Albany-based limo company Premiere Transportation, inferred that there’s no need for more regulations, but rather better enforcement of laws on the books. A consumer-facing safety rating system for limousine companies, similar to health ratings posted in restaurants, was also discussed.