Parents of limo crash victims urge Assembly to act

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SMITHTOWN -

Parents of the victims of a deadly limousine crash on the East End have been pushing for new safety regulations, but some are worried that lawmakers won't act in time.

Paul Schulman's daughter Brittney was among the four young women killed in the horrific 2015 limousine crash in Cutchogue. He and Nancy DiMonte -- whose daughter Joelle survived the crash -- worked with lawmakers on a set of bills to strengthen limo safety regulations that just passed the Senate.

"It's so nobody else has to walk my shoes," Schulman explains. "Today is an absolutely miserable day. I have to celebrate Father's Day by going to the cemetery to visit her."

The set of nine bills include measures requiring stretch limos to have seat belts, increasing driver's licensing requirements, and strengthening criminal penalties for those that break traffic laws. The bills now go to the Assembly.

The push comes in the wake of the Cutchogue crash -- and another limo crash last fall that killed 20 people upstate in Schoharie.

"After our crash we thought, 'Oh, that's horrible,' and then less than four years later, 20 people die upstate because of an industry that has not been regulated," says DiMonte.

Family members of the victims of the Cutchogue crash say they're worried the Assembly won't pass the set of bills by the end of the legislative session on June 19. They say if they don't pass by then, they'll have to wait until next year to see if the bills pass.

"Any other Schoharies or Cutchogues that happen from now until then, well the blood of all those people are going to be on the Assembly's hands if they choose to do nothing," says Schulman.

The Long Island Limousine Association tells News 12 that it agrees with backgound checks for drivers -- but says requiring a commercial driver's license may keep businesses from hiring drivers.

DiMonte says the bills could potentially save lives. She plans to write a letter to the Assembly pleading with lawmakers to pass the bills.

MORE COVERAGE: NY Senate committee passes limo safety bills ahead of prom season 
Limo company operator indicted in crash that killed 20 
20 dead in crash of limo headed to a birthday celebration in upstate NY 
Suffolk street renamed to honor limo crash victims 
Parents of East End limo crash victims petition for safety upgrades  

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