Assemblyman: Committees must come together for sake of limo safety

October 02, 2019 06:39 PM

During the last legislative session, they failed to reach a compromise on limousine safety reforms introduced in the wake of the deadly limo crash.

Will they be able to strike a deal this time? What's holding up reforms?


The report from the National Transportation Safety Board, the New York State Department of Transportation, and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara are all calling on the state Legislature to act now. They say this report clearly demonstrates additional limo safety measures need to be put in place.

NewsChannel 13 spoke with Santabarbara on Wednesday. He says his limo seatbelt bill, which he introduced last session, is one of 29 limo safety bills that have not been acted on by either House Transportation Committee.

NewsChannel 13 asked him on Wednesday why no progress was made on those bills and he said he believes it's because the committees won't work together on coming up with a matching bill.

The bill Santabarbara introduced also addressed break out windows and reinforced frames for limos that have been modified.

He's now calling for a special session to get his bill passed. He's also calling for the governor to pull all limos that don't meet the requirements recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The NTSB also recommended that the New York State Department of Transportation make seat belt function and accessibility in the bi-annual inspection process.

The state fired back, releasing this statement:

"Earlier today, the National Transportation Safety Board issued an interim report providing advisory recommendations on vehicle occupant protection. The recommendations were developed, in part, based on recent crashes that occurred in New Jersey, Illinois and New York, and most critically, reaffirmed the need for all occupants in any vehicle to wear seatbelts - a position advanced by Governor Cuomo and for which NYSDOT has advocated for the past several years. 

The NTSB recommended that New York incorporate the inspection of seatbelts for functionality and accessibility into the NYSDOT biannual vehicle inspection process -- something that in fact has been standard protocol in our process since the early 1990s and are incorporated into the Code of Rules and Regulations for New York State.

The seatbelt requirement has been a top priority of this administration to ensure safety on our roads. This past January, as part of the State Budget, Governor Cuomo put forth strong legislation requiring that all occupants of all vehicles wear seatbelts - the third year in a row in which he called for strengthening the state’s seat belt laws. It is extremely unfortunate these important measures have been repeatedly rejected by the legislature. We urge all lawmakers to join this crucial public safety effort and finally pass the requirement into law during the next session.

NYSDOT looks forward to working with the NTSB as we continue to fight for stronger vehicle safety protections for all New Yorkers."

Santabarbara agreed, he says legislators need to do more.

Hear more about what that is by watching the video of Emily Burkhard’s story.


Emily Burkhard & WNYT Staff

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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