Limo company owner: Check safety records before booking

Posted: Updated:

A deadly limousine crash in upstate New York has many wondering if the rented vehicles they are riding in are safe.

Twenty people were killed Saturday when a 2001 SUV modified into a stretch limo crashed into another vehicle in Schoharie, New York. The limo passengers were on their way to a birthday celebration.

It was the deadliest crash in the United States in almost a decade. Officials say that the vehicle failed inspection last month and was not supposed to be on the road.

“There’s guys out here that are going to do things just to make a quick buck,” says Kevin Truitt, who runs Tru Limo in Linden.

RELATED: Limo that crashed shouldn't have been on the road, New York governor says.

Truitt says that all limos and buses need to meet federal and state regulations. But he says that there are some companies out there that cut corners to save money.

Truitt says that if a limousine is modified into a stretch, its tires, rims and brakes need to be modified to take on the heavier weight.

Some safety features, such as seat belts and emergency exits, are not required by law in some limousines.

“If a limousine doesn't have seatbelts or doesn't have emergency exits…I wouldn't ride in it,” Truitt says.

Truitt says that he recommends checking the U.S. Department of Transportation’s online records system before booking a bus or limo company for an event.

“Pull up their safety records, you can see if they had crashes, if they failed inspections, if they don't have insurance. All that stuff is online,” he says. “I would say do your homework. And don't look for price. Look for quality of service.”

New York state officials ordered Prestige Limousine, the company involved in the Schoharie crash, to shut down while the investigation is ongoing.

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