MARLTON, N.J. — The National Limousine Association provided some informed perspective Sunday on limousine vehicle accidents as the national news media reported the details of a stretch limousine fire in San Francisco Saturday night in which five women celebrating a bachelorette outing burned to death.
Media reports of San Francisco limousine fire here.
"With regard to yesterday’s tragic limousine fire in Northern California, the National Limousine Association would like to extend our condolences to the families affected," read a statement issued by the NLA leadership. "We are not aware of the cause of the incident and will not speculate. It is unusual for limousines to be involved in this these types of accidents. There are 110,000 chauffeured vehicles in service in the U.S. according to the limousine industry trade magazine, Limousine, Charter and Tour (LCT). They make thousands upon thousands of trips per year. Incidents like this are truly an anomaly. Our industry, through the National Limousine Association educational programs, regularly participates in safety training and our national trade shows. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide statements when necessary."
In its longstanding coverage and research of the global limousine industry, LCT Magazine can report that thousands of limousine services nationwide operate vehicles of many makes, models and model years that are properly maintained and mechanically sound. Limo vehicle accidents are highly unlikely if limousine operators: 1) Maintain vehicles in good condition; 2) Legally register their companies with state and/or local regulating agencies; 3) Keep their fleets and chauffeurs properly licensed; 4) Follow all transportation- and traffic-related laws and rules; 5) Insure all vehicles with recommended liability coverages; 6) Abide by established maintenance, safety and training programs, policies, and procedures.
The San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate.com) reported Sunday that the limo was owned by Limo Stop Inc. Its owner, Kultar Singh, told the newspaper Sunday, "I'm very, very saddened" by the accident, but declined to comment further about what happened. Singh said he has owned Limo Stop for about seven years. State records show that the company's license is valid and up to date. The white stretch limousine was a 1999 Lincoln Town Car model.
-- Martin Romjue, LCT editor