THE SUFFOLK County district attorney (DA) in New York State has called for stricter regulations of stretch limousine vehicles.
Thomas Spota made the comment after a Grand Jury investigation into a limo crash in Long Island in the summer of 2015 found that four women died because of, “Gaping omissions in auto safety regulations that essentially exempt stretch limousines from standard requirements like seat belts and rollover pillars”.
The Grand Jury report called for “remedial safety laws” after it examined the circumstances of the crash in which the ladies died when their limo was “broadsided” after their driver attempted a U-turn on a busy country highway.
District attorney Spota said:
Far too many stretch limo owners and operators take advantage of federal exemptions intended for vehicles like airport shuttle buses.Without sufficient safety standards in place, it is nothing but a fine line between a stretch limousine and a hearse.
The report found that built-to-order limousines are much safer and more crash resistant than, “jerry-built creations” where a standard vehicle is cut in half and lengthened by up to ten feet without inspection by the state authorities.
Recommendations by the Grand Jury included an absolute ban on stretch limousine drivers making U-turns.
The report concluded:
With the proliferation of stretch limos as vehicles for proms, weddings and private parties, both federal and state laws are needed to protect the public from vehicles whose designs are untested, unregulated and potentially deadly.
New York state needs to create stronger inspection and safety standards of its own, otherwise another tragedy is bound to happen.