State lawmakers discussing how to help prevent another limo tragedy

October 11, 2018 05:32 PM

In the aftermath of the deadly limousine crash in Schoharie, many people are asking if there is anything more the state can do to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.

NewsChannel 13 caught up with a couple of local lawmakers on Thursday who said those conversations are well underway.

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To drive a limo like the one involved in the deadly Schoharie crash, you need a special license that the driver did not have.

To keep a limo on the road, it has to pass inspection. However, the one involved -- had failed.

Laws are already in place to ensure safety -- that were ignored.  So will the legislature try to pass more laws?

"I have a sense that we will," noted Assemblywoman Pat Fahy.

She says it's good she and her colleagues are not back in session until January. It will give investigators plenty of time to determine what went wrong before lawmakers try to fix anything.

Assemblyman John McDonald understands people may want to see change sooner.

"To rush to judgment on, 'We need to do this' and 'We need to do that,' -- I get it. I understand that. But I think it's best, let's get facts first. Let's convene the stakeholders around the table to really see what the best way is going forward," he suggested.

That's not to say lawmakers aren't already considering what changes might make the most sense. That would include requiring companies to provide more information to consumers.

"Bottom line is when you sign a contract to rent a limousine – and I think most of the good actors do this already in the industry -- provide verification that the driver has the appropriate license and is able to drive the vehicle and also provide a copy of the recent inspection," suggested McDonald.

In the event a bus or a limo does not pass a safety inspection, ensuring it does not wind up back on the road.

"Clearly that limo was back on the road and we need to see if there is a way to prevent that in the future," pointed out Fahy.

Everything we preach to anybody as soon as they get their license at the age of 18 is don't drink and drive. They did the right thing -- and unfortunately, since Sunday morning, we are hearing moment after moment all the wrong things that happened.

Both Fahy and McDonald say they will be meeting with other limousine operators in the coming weeks to get their thoughts on how to improve industry safety.


Jerry Gretzinger

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