As June approaches, it brings forth the end of legislative hearings in Albany.
Therefore, we, the eight families of the 2015 Cutchogue limousine crash, are proposing that amendments be made to the newly elected Limousine Safety Bill. We realize the horror that the Schoharie [limo crash] families endured and want to enact these amendments to make this bill total. New York State has been through too many of these tragedies in too short a time.
It is vital to include that drivers become CDL qualified.
If drivers cannot complete the necessary training requirements, then they have no requirements to safely operate the vehicles and lack the skills to navigate these large vehicles with several passengers, thereby endangering lives. Additionally, as school bus drivers are mandated to possess these licenses, we see no justification to exclude limousine carriers from this requirement, since they are also responsible for several passengers at any given time.
Furthermore, we strongly urge the installation of safety equipment to include seat belts and airbags. The combination of a trained driver and safety equipment will ascertain that every limousine is optimally prepared to ensure the safety of its occupants. As the current legislation provides for the necessary inspection guidelines, as well as prohibition of U-turns on public roads, it is incomplete without the amendments put forth here.
We are asking legislators to please consider these additions and realize our concern for safety. If you have lived through the nightmares of Cutchogue and Schoharie, you understand our requests. Obviously those who omitted these items could not identify as we do. Assuredly, the general public advocates and supports this. Consequently, after the monumental passing of this legislation, we received many inquiries as to the exclusion of said articles.
Moving forward, we are wholeheartedly preparing for upcoming hearings and will not waver until we are granted a bill in its completion.
Nancy DiMonte, East Northport
Ms. DiMonte is the mother of Cutchogue limo crash survivor Joelle DiMonte.