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2018 Limo Accident Calls for Regulation Changes

October 26, 2018 | Category: Automobile Accidents | Share

Saturday, October 6, was supposed to be a special day for those who were celebrating a 30th birthday, but it was not. The rented limo in which they were riding was involved in a single-vehicle accident in upstate New York. Twenty people were killed, including two pedestrians in a parking lot.  The Washington Post reported that this accident is the deadliest transportation accident in the U.S. since a plane crash in 2009.

2018 Limo Accident Calls for Regulation ChangesAccording to the media, the limo involved in the accident, which was a converted 2001 Ford Expedition, had failed at least one prior safety inspection. In addition, officials and public records showed the owner had a record of noncompliance with New York state laws and federal requirements.

The Washington Post reported on October 8 that the owner, Prestige Limousine Company, had an over-all spotty record. Records show that four out of five inspections over a two-year period resulted in vehicles being taken out of service. Also, the driver did not have the proper license to be operating the vehicle.

The National Traffic Safety Bureau (NTSB) Chairman, Robert Sumwalt, said, “Typically when SUVs are converted into limos, they are cut in half, stretched and converted. The vehicle involved in the accident was configured for 19 seats; two in the front, a rear-facing seat, a forward-back seat in the back, and seating on each side. Some of the seats had lap shoulder belts, but it was unclear if all did or if passengers were wearing them. New York limo law only requires the limo driver and front-seat passenger wear a seat belt.”

On October 8, NBC2 asked the question: Should there be stricter requirements for limo drivers? Governor Rick Scott, owner of Elite Limousine Service in Fort Myers, answered the question in the affirmative. His company owns 5 limos, a bus limo, and 2 town cars. Scott said driving limos can be more complicated than cars. “You go to pick a client up, and you're driving an empty vehicle. You put ten people in a vehicle, and you could have 2,500 pounds. Now you've got to consider take-offs and stopping with that additional weight," he said. Governor Scott’s wife said they have zero tolerance for drivers who break their rules, and each vehicle is equipped with a GPS that sends notifications to the Scotts’ phones.

The New York accident is not the only recent limo accident. In September 2018, people returning from a funeral were involved in a limo accident where the limo side swiped a fence and ran into a cement wall. Several people were taken to the hospital in Miami-Dade County.

Special licenses are not required in Florida for limo drivers, chauffeurs and taxi drivers. However, there are rules and regulations which are enforced by local governments within the state.

The Lee County Tax Collector office regulates for-hire businesses in the Lee County area. Effective August 1, 2015, the ordinance was revised. Business owners who operate a taxicab or vehicle for hire business in Lee County must obtain a Certificate to Operate, a Vehicle Permit, and two stickers for each vehicle. All drivers are required to obtain a Driver Identification Card.

“Should you or a loved one be injured in a for-hire vehicle, please contact our experienced team of attorneys. We are available 24/7 to assist you, and there are no costs or attorney fees unless we make a monetary recovery for you,” said Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey, of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.


Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney,Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys.  He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to  Visit for more information.  You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.




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