Transportation officials call for stricter limo regs a year after a fatal NY crash
Remember the devasting 2018 limousine crash in upstate New York that killed 20 people? It marked the worst transportation-related crash in America since the plane crash in 2009 the killed 49 people.
Last year, we discussed the factors that led to the crash, both on part of the driver and the company that owned the 2001 Ford Excursion stretch limousine.
Following the crash, it was determined that the driver never obtained the proper licensure to operate the vehicle. In addition, the company, Prestige Limo, had repeated failed inspections prior to the crash.
Prior to this tragedy, limo crashes got little attention. The latest statistics include data from 2012-2016, which only showed 12 fatalities, including a Long Island, New York, limo crash that killed four people who were part of a bridal party.
Limo safety finally becoming a priority
One year after the upstate New York crash, limo safety is starting to get long-overdue attention. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has called for stricter seatbelt regulations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), according to NBC News.
After examining the 2001 Ford Excursion stretch limo, the NTSB deemed the vehicle's seatbelt and seating system unsafe. The 17 limo passengers were also not believed to be wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.
In order to remedy this problem, the NTSB is urging the NHTSA to establish strict seating performance standards and required lap and shoulder seat belts for all passengers.
The 2001 Ford Excursion, which was stretched by 144 inches, was found to only have lap seat belts on perimeter-style bench seating.
How can I tell if a limousine is safe to ride in?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers a platform that allows you to view a limo company's history of citations and safety violations. You may enter the company's name, USDOT number or MC/MX number.
In Florida, there are no current state laws requiring limo operators to obtain special licenses. These rules are enforced locally. In Palm Beach County, limo companies must obtain a license to operate by Consumer Affairs. In addition, drivers are required to obtain special permits. Vehicles must be also properly insured and registered, and inspections must be conducted each year.
Your wedding, birthday party, prom, or other special event shouldn't have to end in a catastrophe. In the event you or a loved one is hurt in a limo crash, it's important that you consult with an experienced West Palm Beach attorney as soon as possible.
The legal team at David J. Glatthorn, P.A. will investigate your limo crash and find out where negligence occurred. We'll help you build a solid legal claim and fight to maximize your compensation. To schedule your free case review, contact us online.