Home | news | Press Releases

Press Releases

Tonko Calls for Vote on Limo Safety Package after NTSB Report

NTSB issues recommendations in line with Tonko limo safety package following Schoharie investigation

WASHINGTON—Congressman Paul D. Tonko called on Senate leaders to take up his comprehensive limousine safety reform legislation today following a vote by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to finalize their investigative report on the tragic Schoharie limo crash that took the lives of 20 people on October 6, 2018.

Tonko has led a bipartisan coalition in Congress in a multi-year effort to craft and advance comprehensive limousine safety legislation that was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year. The package includes three bills: the Safety, Accountability, and Federal Enforcement of Limos Act (SAFE Limos Act), the Take Unsafe Limos Off the Road Act, and the End the Limo Loophole Act. All three bills advanced as part of H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act.

“Almost two years ago now, our community suffered an unspeakable tragedy as 20 souls lost their lives in the crash of a limo that should never have been on the road,” Congressman Tonko said. “Last year, my colleagues and I introduced bipartisan legislation to establish limo safety standards that would work to prevent senseless tragedies like that one in Schoharie, and many others including in Long Island, New York; Elgin, Illinois; Cranbury, New Jersey; and San Francisco, California. Today’s NTSB report reaffirms the clear and urgent need for these national limousine safety standards. The families of victims of these tragedies have drawn on a deep well of strength and resilience to turn their unimaginable pain into a resounding call for reform. My great and humble thanks to them for their powerful voices and unmatched resolve, and to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who have helped carry these reforms forward.

“I thank NTSB, Chairman Robert Sumwalt and the dedicated investigators for their work on this report. While the report and recommendations cannot change the past, they provide more answers on what happened and in turn what we must do to ensure it is never allowed to happen again. In Congress we will carry the mantle to require that FMCSA take these necessary actions to ensure that unsafe limos are taken off the road. I urge the Senate to take up this life-saving legislation without further delay.”

“Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety strongly supports the limousine safety upgrades championed by Representative Paul Tonko together with the other sponsors from the New York delegation,” said Cathy Chase, President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. “Inclusion of their bipartisan, bicameral proposals in the Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2), which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in July, was a step in the right direction. However, it must be brought across the finish line to prevent horrific tragedies, like the Schoharie and Long Island crashes, from happening. For many, a limousine ride is supposed to be a time of celebration. But due to unacceptably weak standards and oversight, a crash involving a limousine can turn someone's happiest day into their worst nightmare. Recommendations and findings from the National Transportation Safety Board underscore the urgent need for federal action on limousine safety.”

Last year, on the one-year anniversary of the Schoharie crash Tonko introduced the limo safety package alongside Rep. Antonio Delgado (NY-19) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and with the support of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21). Throughout this effort, he worked closely with the families of the victims of the Schoharie crash and others who lost loved ones in another limousine tragedy on Long Island.


Stay Connected