Limo expert appointed to state limousine safety task force

NY News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It’s been three years since what was deemed as one of the worst transportation accidents in the last decade — the Schoharie limo crash taking the lives of 20 people.

“We continue to work to honor their memories,” said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara. “We continue to look for ways to improve the laws that govern stretch limousines.”

In an effort to improve limo safety, 10 laws were passed in New York. One of them stating that a limo task force was to be created and it’s findings were to be released on November 1. But that task force wasn’t formed until now

“It’s very frustrating and infuriating and upsetting to see that the task force hasn’t started it’s work, and we haven’t seen movement until now,” Santabarbara said. “But having said that, it’s important that they do move forward and that they have the time to give us the recommendations on what they believe we should be doing next to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to limousine safety standards.”

Families of the Schoharie limo victims told NEWS10’s Jamie DeLine they are also upset by the delay.

Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday released the names of her appointees to the task force. Among them, David Brown of Premiere Transportation sharing what he would like to accomplish in this new role.

“We are going to be going over A-Z with limousine rules and regulations,” explained Brown. “The big thing I’m trying to put into play here is better communication between the state agencies. Between the Department of Transportation, between the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the New York State Police as far as regulation. I think if all of those acted cohesively, the stretch limousine accident in Schoharie could have been avoided.”

Brown has over 30 years of experience working in the limousine business. After the Schoharie crash, the NTSB came to Brown for his opinion on limousines and how they function. When it comes to this new task force, he said that November 1 report deadline might be pushed back.

“Our task force will report directly to the governor and will let her know, hey, here’s our recommendations to make our industry safer,” said Brown. “These regulations are working, these regulations aren’t working, and we’ll take it from there.”

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