Proposed legislation looks to improve safety and transparency in New York's limousine industry, according to a statement from Gov. Kathy Hochul's office.
The proposal released Thursday, which follows recommendations from the Stretch Limousine Passenger Safety Task Force, would stiffen fines for driving suspended stretch limos; require stronger safety features for the limos; limit the vehicles' years and/or miles on the road; require pre-ride safety briefings; and improve the availability of data on limo operators.
The task force's creation followed the limousine crash in Schoharie in 2018 that killed 20 people. Prestige Limousine operator Nauman Hussain was convicted of manslaughter charges connected to the crash, and sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison. A number of family members of the crash victims also reached undisclosed settlements with Mavis Discount Tire, as former manager Virgil Parks testified at Hussain's trial that he billed Hussain for work that was never done.
"We have been able to get dangerous vehicles off the road and this bill will enable us to do more to ensure the safety of everyone who uses or encounters a stretched limo on our roads," said Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder, also a co-chair of the safety task force.
The statement from the governor's office also said the DMV and Department of Transportation have already "made significant progress administratively, including overhauling the vehicle registration and change of ownership process, increasing the number of reviews of limousines, increasing the level of coordination between states, and increasing enforcement actions against those who fraudulently register and operate limousines."