Preventing Future Tragedy With The Limo Passenger Safety Task Force

Three years ago, a stretch limousine crashed in Schoharie County, claiming the lives of 20 people. The October 2018 crash was the nation’s deadliest transportation accident in nearly a decade. Our community still aches for the tremendous loss experienced by our families, friends and neighbors. My thoughts are with all those who have been forever hurt by this tragic loss.

Since then, I’ve been working to overhaul our state’s transportation regulations, including the recently appointed Stretch Limousine Passenger Safety Task Force that will prepare a comprehensive report on the safety of limousines in our state and make additional recommendations for improvement. This task force will go a long way towards protecting passengers and drivers alike and help prevent future tragedies. While Governor Hochul recently took action to make appointments to the task force – something that the previous governor had put off – it’s important that this work move forward as soon as possible. I look forward to seeing the task force’s report and continuing my work to protect our communities.

In addition, new laws I sponsored and helped pass to protect passengers and drivers alike, include:

  • Drug and alcohol testing and requirements for for-hire vehicle drivers and motor carriers (Ch. 2 of 2020)
  • Increasing penalties for illegal U-turns committed by stretch limousines (Ch. 4 of 2020)
  • Establishing mechanisms to report stretch limousine safety issues (Ch. 5 of 2020)
  • Requiring individuals operating limousines carrying nine or more passengers, including the driver, to have a commercial driver's license (Ch. 6 of 2020)
  • Requiring passengers under 16 to wear safety belts in taxis and livery vehicles (Ch. 8 of 2020)
  • Allowing the Commissioner of Transportation to impound or immobilize stretch limousines in certain situations; providing that such impounded motor vehicle shall not be released unless the Commissioner of Transportation is satisfied that repairs have been scheduled or been made to satisfactorily adjust such vehicle's out-of-service defect or defects (Ch. 9 of 2020)
  • Requiring “stretch limousines" which were altered on or after January 1, 2021, to have at least two safety belts for the front seat and at least one safety belt in the rear seat for each passenger (Ch. 10 of 2020)
  • Ensuring that every stretch limousine registered in New York State has a commercial global positioning system (Ch. 11 of 2020)
  • Requiring the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to maintain and annually update its website to provide information on motor carriers operating stretch limousines, including annually verifying that each carrier holds a valid driver’s license (Ch. 12 of 2020)

For more information on this or any other legislative issues, please feel free to contact my office at 518-455-5197 or send me an email at