Schumer calls for new limo safety standards

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New York Democrat Sen. Charles Schumer is calling on the Obama administration to upgrade its safety standards for stretch limousines and other motor coaches following a crash that killed four young women in Long Island last month.

In a letter sent Monday, Schumer asked Mark Rosekind, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to issue new rules on stretch limos, which he said all too often lack enough side impact air bags, rollover bars and appropriate exits.

{mosads}“When a limo or bus actually leaves the manufacturing floor, it has passed all of the required federal tests necessary to protect drivers and passengers,” he said in a news release. “However, these same limos are often taken to aftermarket shops where they are stretched, modified or changed, leaving safety standards at risk and both drivers and passengers in danger. It’s clear that stretching a limo can put the wheels in motion for a terrible tragedy.”

Schumer asked Rosekind to work in tandem with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to develop new requirements for secondary alterations to motor coaches and limos that, he said, are often lengthened by as much as 120 inches.

In a separate letter, Schumer asked NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart to investigate accidents involving stretch limos, which are most often rented for weddings, proms, birthday parties and other special events.

“Given how common these stretched limousines have become, and because there is relatively little information available about how they perform in a variety of crash scenarios I urge you to make full and thorough investigation of the issue,” he wrote. “Recommendations from your agency can help guide both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and states on how to better regulate the safety of stretched limousines.”

Schumer’s letters are responding to the July 19 accident, in which four young women were killed and four others were injured when the limo they were riding in was t-boned by an alleged drunk driver. The women, according to media reports, were celebrating a bride-to-be and had just left a nearby vineyard. 

Tags Car classifications Chuck Schumer Chuck Schumer Disaster limousine National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Road safety Road traffic safety Road transport Safety standards Traffic collision Transport

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