More Regulations Needed for Limousine Industry
October 10, 2018 (fredericknewspost.com) An opinion piece on fredericknewspost.com discusses the lack of regulations pertaining to limousines and what needs to change to prevent deadly accidents from continuing to happen.*
On October 6, a limousine crash in upstate New York killed 17 passengers, the limo driver, and two pedestrians. A group of adults had rented the limo for a 30th birthday celebration, and the limo ran through a T-intersection, drove into a parking lot, and smashed into a parked vehicle. Everyone in the limo, including the driver, died in the crash. No one was inside the parked car, but two pedestrians who were standing nearby were also killed.
Investigation into the crash has revealed that the limo used that day had failed a recent safety inspection, and the limo driver did not have the proper driver’s license to be operating the vehicle. The vehicle was a modified stretch limousine, made from extending a 2001 Ford Excursion. Modified vehicles like this — which are essentially made from sawing the vehicle in half, extending its body, and reworking the interior — can suffer from serious structural integrity issues.
State and federal standards that apply to unmodified limousines often do not apply to modified limousines, like the one used in the New York crash, which is a problem. But even where standards do apply, limousines typically do not have to have seatbelts for rear-facing passengers and do not have to have side airbags.
To keep passengers safe, more regulations should be placed on the limousine industry, and those regulations should capture both standard and modified vehicles.
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