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Lawmakers expected to pass limo safety bill following Schoharie crash

A package of bills meant to bolster limousine safety in New York is advancing through the state Senate and could be approved in the coming weeks, Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Tim Kennedy said Thursday in an interview.

The bills were approved by Kennedy’s committee earlier in the day. Several will be ticketed for the Senate Finance Committee.

“The vast majority of them will be fast tracked to the floor and my expectation is that we will pass them in the next couple of weeks,” Kennedy said.

The measures include requirements for limousines to have seat belts, escape hatches and roll bars. Drivers would have to carry a commercial driver’s license and undergo criminal background checks as well as drug and alcohol testing. Kennedy also wants a task force for further study of the issue and increased penalties for breaking the laws governing limo safety.

The limousine safety measures were proposed in the wake of a stretch limo crash in Schoharie that killed 20 people last year. Lawmakers earlier this month held a hearing on the issue, which also came after some limo insurance issues were taken up in the state budget.

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