New limo seatbelt law takes effect in NY state | WNYT.com

New limo seatbelt law takes effect in NY state

WNYT Staff
Updated: January 01, 2021 05:38 PM
Created: January 01, 2021 12:14 PM

It has been more than two years since the deadly Schoharie limo crash that killed 20 people.

On Friday, a new limo safety law is paving the way to safer roads in New York state.

At the heart of it, a major recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board, seatbelts. The NTSB's report found that lap belts were likely inaccessible to passengers on the day of the crash.

"In the report, they talked about the use of seatbelts, and what a difference it would have made," said Assemblyman Santabarbara, who co-sponsored the legislation.

Starting Friday, vehicles that are converted into stretch limousines will need to have a seat belt for every passenger. They will also need to have sign postings that encourage the use of seat belts.

Stretch limos that already exist will have two years to make the adjustments.

The law is part of a 10-point package that includes features like enhanced license requirements for drivers. It also focuses on getting irresponsible companies and drivers off the road.

"It also empowers the Department of Transportation to impound vehicles that fail safety inspections. So, should they not be following these new regulations, we do not want these companies operating in New York state. We don't want them putting people in danger," Santabarbara added.

While it is a big step for New York, Assemblyman Santabarbara says similar legislation needs to be brought on nationally.

"You know they could face the same dangers as we saw in Schoharie, so that's what we don't want to happen. It is really a national issue. The stretch limousines carry many passengers. They are big. They can cause a lot of damage," he added.

To hear more about the legislation, click on Sam Hesler's report.


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