ALBANY – A nearly five-year effort by Long Island and the families in the north of the state that lost their loved ones in horrible crashes of rented limousines resulted in an agreement on 10 more laws Tuesday to make travel safer .
After nine similar proposals failed in legislative committees in June, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Senate leaders and Assembly leaders announced an agreement on the bills that will be voted and signed on Tuesday.
The measures include the use of mandatory seat belts for all passengers, the immediate immobilization of a limousine that does not pass safety inspections, the increase in penalties for making U-turns prohibited for limousines and that drivers obtain commercial driver’s licenses with authorization to transport passengers.
In addition, a working group will be created that could lead to more alcohol and drug testing of drivers.
The advance among lawmakers was initially announced last week and came from months of discussion with families who lost relatives in two clashes.
Four women on a winery tour died in 2015 in Cutchogue after the modified Lincoln Town Car in which they were traveling made a U-turn and was hit in the side by a van. In 2018, a limousine with an irregular safety record hired as part of a birthday celebration crashed at an intersection of Schoharie County and left 20 dead.
Nancy DiMonte of East Northport, a spokeswoman for families whose family members died in the Cutchogue accident, supported the bill package. His daughter, Joelle, 29, was seriously injured in the incident.
“I am sitting here just jumping off my skin,” DiMonte said in an interview moments after the agreement was announced. “It’s finally happening! … it’s a wonderful, wonderful package.”
He called the complete and complete invoice package.
“We worked hard the last months and just last weekend we were talking on the phone,” DiMonte said.
Kevin Cushing, father of Patrick Cushing, who was among those killed in the Schoharie County accident, said last week that he also supported the legislative package.
“These comprehensive reforms will give the authorities new, much-needed powers to take dangerous vehicles off the road, eliminate bad actors and establish common sense safety standards that increase public safety in every corner of New York,” Cuomo said. a statement “These horrible accidents that caused this action shook this state in its essence and we support those who lost their loved ones in these accidents and worked tirelessly to help prevent future tragedies once and for all.”
“We have a duty for families across the state to take steps to prevent such senseless tragedy from happening again,” said Senator Anna Kaplan (D-Great Neck).
“These bills,” added Senator James Gaughran (D-Northport), “including mandatory seatbelts and taking strong measures against illegal U-turns, are critical safety measures that will prevent tragic accidents like those of about years in Cutchogue, that it happens again. “