In light of another fatal stretch limousine crash in the United States, Senator Charles Schumer says he wants the federal safety agencies to start testing stretch limousines and aftermarket motor coaches to upgrade their safety. Schumer believes that vehicles that are converted to limousines often lack adequate safety features such as side impact air bags and strong frames. Some even lack an emergency exit when they are being converted to a limousine.
Rick Rojas of the New York Times provides some insight into why converted limousines pose a safety risk to passengers:
“To make a stretch limousine, an ordinary car is cut in half and plates are used to extend the floor and the roof. Pillars in the car, running from the ceiling to the floor, are normally part of a structural cage around the passenger compartment in conventional cars. But in a stretch limousine, the passenger areas are generally not protected by the pillars.”
He adds, “Because seats are reconfigured in stretch limousines, the ordinary principles of protection for side-impact crashes do not apply.”
In the United States, there are virtually no safety guidelines for building stretch limos. “There are so few safety guidelines for the building of stretch limos that even those who modify them say there’s next to no oversight, says Jim Hoffer of Eyewitness News.
Its unfortunate people have to die before someone decides to regulate the coach builders. Even though safety regulations in The United States are different from those in Ontario, this situation brings up an important and often overlooked aspect of the limo booking process.
If you are planning on booking a limousine, ask the limo company about the safety of their vehicles. If you and your friends/family will be riding in a limo, it’s important to make sure it is a safe mode of transportation.
At Gem Limousine, the safety of or vehicles is our top priority. We always conduct routine inspections, coupled with preventative maintenance keep our vehicles running their best under any driving conditions. When adding new vehicles to our limo fleet, we carefully scrutinize their safety rating, and make sure they have proper safety features to ensure our passengers are safe when travelling in our vehicles.