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By now the entire limousine industry knows about the dreadful fatal stretch limousine T-bone crash on Long Island, N.Y., last weekend that killed four women. Our sympathies, condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the deceased and to the injured.
The tragedy evokes still raw memories of the fatal stretch limousine fire near San Francisco in May 2013 that killed five women, also on a leisure outing.
While the two fatal accidents involve starkly different circumstances, the fallout in both cases includes misinformed media reporting about stretch limousine safety fueled by emotions. Here we go again: The limousine industry must set the record straight with a massive fact injection.
Specifically, comments in a recent ABC New York Channel 7 article and video about stretch construction missed the mark, and unfortunately have created a firestorm of inaccuracies. I spoke with a veteran limousine coachbuilder today who offered some corrections to the irresponsible comments.
Before I get to those points, I want to reaffirm that the limousine company involved in the crash is a reputable operation with high customer service standards and an impeccable safety record. I won’t name the company or the operator in this blog, as he is going through a hellish experience, but many of us know and respect him. He deserves our collective support and sympathy. Since the accident investigation is ongoing, we don’t know and shouldn’t speculate on the possible results.
According to my source, and based on what I’ve learned so far writing about the limousine industry in detail, here is some perspective on stretch design and safety. [My source asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely on a controversial subject].
On that last point, I’d like to pose a few common sense questions to ponder:
That brings me to the main point restated by my source, which should be obvious even to misinformed, sensational reporters: Speed and tonnage kill.
Here’s the challenge for the industry: How well does the public know the stretch limo facts that my source explained? How can the industry better educate and reassure retail limousine customers?
Related Topics: accidents, crash testing, Editor's Edge Blog, fatalities, federal regulations, LCT editor, limo crashes, Martin Romjue, passenger safety, Safety, safety education, stretch limousine, vehicle safety
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