HARTFORD -- The New York limousine crash was the deadliest U.S. transit accident in 9 years.
The accident is making authorities take a look at limousine safety and regulations.
Connecticut’s limousine regulations are some of the most strict in the country. Limousine operators say Connecticut regulations would prevent this sort of tragedy.
“Connecticut I would say in my opinion is probably one of the most stringent for for-hire vehicles, for what they make you go through for the inspection process,” Paul Barcellos of Lindsey Limousine in Windsor said. “You have to be inspected every six months on all DOT or larger vehicles, which is a great feature for the public because it’s being inspected by a DOT person every six months.”
In New York, officials are saying the driver did not have the proper driver’s license. For companies in Connecticut, a background process is required for all drivers. “In the state of Connecticut, you have to get in F endorsement to drive a for hire vehicle, or limousine. The policy and procedure do that is you have to go through a background check, physical and drug tested.”
The modified stretch limo in the New York accident is not allowed for Connecticut limousine companies.
“That specific type are not allowed in Connecticut, Barcellos said. “That technically fit 14 passengers people we believe, the largest stretch limousine allowed in Connecticut is eight passengers. Unfortunately, we’ve had many calls over the years from customers looking for those types of vehicles and we tell them now. And they go to either Massachusetts or New York to get them.”
Picking a safe limousine service comes down to some simple advice.
“Definitely know the company, look for a reputable company,” Barcellos said. “You know, I mean this all comes down to the managers and owners making sure that they’re following the guidelines in place, and not putting not putting unsafe equipment on the road.”
Mike Lindsey, the owner of Lindsey Limousine, is in Washington DC at a trade conference. He said this accident is a main topic of conversation there. He also spoke of the safety standards in Connecticut as among the safest in the nation.