Monday, October 28, 2013

Limo Safety Law Passes in California

Legislation approved by the California State Senate, requiring limousines operating in California to have emergency exits, has been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett of San Leandro drafted the bill after two limousine blazes erupted in the San Francisco Bay Area earlier this year.

Under SB 109, limousines carrying fewer than 10 passengers are now required to have two push-out windows and two rear doors, which must be situated on opposite sides of the vehicle. The bill also requires limousine operators to instruct passengers on the safety features of the vehicle before embarking on any trip, beginning in January 2016.

Senator Jerry Hill drafted another bill, SB 338, which would have expanded annual California Highway Patrol safety inspections to limousines below the current 10-passenger threshold. Under SB 338, these inspections would be performed at a cost of $75 to the limousine operator. The 1999 Lincoln Town Car stretch limo in the San Mateo Bridge fire was designed to carry seven passengers, and therefore was not required to be inspected in any way. However, Gov. Brown vetoed this second bill, saying the $75 fee was insufficient to cover the CHP’s inspection costs, and called for an otherwise-identical bill allowing for better funding.


  1. while the senators are trying to protect the public, they dont understand that there is 2 types of limousine companies... corporate service and retail. the dangers are caused by the retail limousine companies that dont take care of the vehicles they have or just have vehicles that are completely outdated. the fire where the nurses died was a 1999 limousine and the operator is said to have 11 limousines. i would like to see his whole fleet and i could be its just a retail limousine company.
    the same weekend the fire on the bridge happened a 2001 party bus back east had a female passenger fall out and die from falling out of a rear emergency door. that party bus was probably built in a small chop shop operation as many that are on the roads are. i have seen these junk buses and when they install the limousine interiors they cover the emergency access to the windows. this is something that has to be stopped. simply by passing a law that has an age limit on the year of the limousine you can rent to customers and also the year and a QVM or CMC builder thats aware of the quality control and emergency exits.
    we had a 24 year old fall out of a party bus in los angeles from a 2001 party bus..... same issue the bus should not have been converted into a party bus by a chop shop.
    everything in a 2000 year old party bus is going to have been effected by the aging of the vehicle. for example the rubber molding on the windows will most likely be leaking since the sun over time will drie out the rubber, the emergency window mechanism will be faulty and not working correctly.
    how many more people have to die to realize what the answer is to the problem..... the answer is 2008 and up limousines and party buses.... party buses only allow to be purchased from already known manufacturers and not these chop shops.

  2. In my opinion, while well intended, this law goes too far overboard when it includes ANY vehicle that has been extended at all. For example in the smaller version of Lincoln stretch, 70-72", there has only been one regular bench seat added, so the vehicle comfortably holds four adult passenger, or at most you could squeeze in 6 smaller people, somewhat uncomfortably. There just is NOT that much distance between front and rear passengers, and therefore ready access to the two rear exit doors. A fifth door on a limo of this size is both unnecessary, would be ugly in appearance, and take away space for interior amenities.

    What about all the mini-vans and big SUV's that rather then having been "extended" where built stock to accommodate not just two but three rows of seating? None of these meet the new limo requirement, yet hundreds of thousands of mothers are driving these around full of children.

    Had this law been applied to family vehicles, it NEVER would have passed.


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