ALBANY – Assemblymember Jonathan G. Jacobson (D-104) is praising a new package of legislation regulating the stretch limousine industry. In response to the tragic 2017 limousine crash in Schoharie, the legislation passed both the Assembly and Senate this week.
Jacobson said, “I am proud to have co-sponsored this much-needed legislation. For too long, stretch limousines have occupied a regulatory no-man’s land. Moving forward, passengers can be confident that the vehicle they or their loved ones are riding in will get them safely to their destination.”
The limousine regulations and passenger safety legislation includes:
A712-A Drug and Alcohol Testing: This bill requires pre-employment and random drug and alcohol testing in large for-hire vehicles.
A9058 Commercial GPS Requirements: This bill requires stretch limousines to use commercial GPS devices to assist them in using roads that are best suited for their vehicles.
A8172-B Increased Penalties for Illegal U-Turns: This bill expands the U-turn ban to stretch limousines capable of carrying nine or more passengers, including the driver, and increases the financial and criminal penalties for drivers making illegal U-turns.
A9057 Seatbelt Requirements: This bill requires stretch limousines to be equipped with seatbelts for every passenger for which this vehicle is rated. This includes a requirement for stretch limousines to be retrofitted with seatbelts no later than January 1, 2023, and for any stretch limousine modified on or after January 1, 2021 to be equipped with seatbelts.
A8990 Seatbelt Requirements: This bill requires taxi or livery passengers 16 and older to wear seatbelts regardless of their seating position and prohibit a person from operating the taxi or livery unless all passengers between the ages of eight and 15 are wearing seatbelts.
A9056 Immobilization of Defective Limos: This bill authorizes the Department of Transportation (DOT) to immobilize or impound a stretch limousine that fails DOT safety inspections and place them “out of service.”
A1316-C Creation of Passenger Task Force: This bill creates a passenger safety task force to study and make recommendations on additional safety measures for stretch limousines such as anti-intrusion bars, rollover protection, emergency exits, and improved coordination between the DOT and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
A8474-A Commercial Driving License Requirement: This bill requires limousine drivers operating vehicles capable of transporting nine or more passengers to have a commercial drivers license with a “P” (passenger) endorsement.
A8214-B Customer Service Resources: This bill requires the DOT and DMV to establish and maintain a toll-free hotline and website for reporting safety issues with stretch limousines.
A8214-B DMV Website Requirements: This bill requires the DMV to update its website regarding motor carrier safety information and requires annual verifications on stretch limousine driver files.
The Governor has indicated that he will move quickly to sign this package of bills.