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Tonko, Faso, Stefanik Introduce Legislation to Close Loophole on NHTSA Limousine Regulations

Current Limousine Provision Allowed Vehicles to Skirt Safety Regulations

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Washington, December 11, 2018 | comments
“We have a duty to the victims of the Schoharie limousine crash to help ensure this deadly outcome cannot be repeated,” said Congressman Tonko. “Holding every vehicle of this kind to the same basic safety standards is not just common sense, it could save lives and restore public confidence in an industry shaken by this painful tragedy.”
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WASHINGTON – New York Representatives Paul Tonko, John Faso, and Elise Stefanik introduced legislation today to close a loophole that allows retrofitted limousines to skirt requirements as re-sold vehicles and avoid compliance with certain National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety standards, such as seatbelt and egress requirements. In October, a limousine crash in Schoharie County killed twenty people. The crash is currently under federal and state investigation.

“We have a duty to the victims of the Schoharie limousine crash to help ensure this deadly outcome cannot be repeated,” said Congressman Tonko. “Holding every vehicle of this kind to the same basic safety standards is not just common sense, it could save lives and restore public confidence in an industry shaken by this painful tragedy.”

“NHTSA regulations are in place for a reason,” said Congressman Faso. “Each time a new vehicle is sold, it must undergo a thorough safety examination. However, if the vehicle is substantively modified to add more seating, it is not subject to the same safety checks. It’s vital that vehicles which are significantly modified undergo a strict amount of scrutiny. The recent tragedy in Schoharie County which took the lives of 20 people must move the Congress to close this loophole and enact stricter rules on modified vehicles. While there were certainly other factors surrounding this crash which are the subject to federal and state investigation, as well as a criminal prosecution, making sure modified vehicles are safer is a critical step.”

"This commonsense legislation will enhance limo safety and work to prevent tragic accidents like the crash in Schoharie from ever happening again," said Congresswoman Stefanik. "Our community was devastated by the loss of our friends and neighbors in the accident, and it's critical that lawmakers work to strengthen public safety in the wake of tragedy. I urge all of my colleagues to support this bipartisan bill and thank Reps. Faso and Tonko for their leadership on this crucial issue."

Legislative text is available here.

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