Sen. Charles Schumer On Limo Safety

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

Schumer; 2015 Crash Victims' Families Call For Tighter Limo Safety

October 18, 2018 - 1:11 pm

GREAT NECK, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- After the recent limousine crash that left 20 people dead in upstate New York, along with a crash in 2015 that killed young women in Cutchogue, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) has been fighting to make changes within the limo industry.

“I’m walking around a shell of the person that I used to be,” said Paul Schulman, who lost his daughter, Brittney, in the horrific Cutchogue crash.

He is fighting along with Schumer to make changes.

They say one problem is that even though there is a longtime federal law on the books that limo drivers must have commercial licenses, many do not – and the law is not being enforced.

The driver in Cutchogue had a regular license.

“No one is enforcing it,” Schumer said. “We’re here today to get them to enforce it.”

Paul Schulman
Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

“I need a reason why my daughter’s not here anymore, and if the reason for this is that these changes are going to be enacted, I can live with that,” Schulman said.

Schulman said it is all about money, as it would cost more to hire drivers with commercial licenses.

“You should be trained to operate a limo. It’s all about putting somebody behind the wheel of a vehicle who’s never operated a vehicle that size before. You have to know that you have to make wider turns,” he said. “It takes longer to stop a vehicle, just like it takes longer for a tractor trailer to stop.”

Steve and Felicia Baruch – parents of Cutchogue crash victim Lauren Baruch; Susan Arundel, mother of crash victim Alicia Arundel; and Donato Panico, a friend of the Schulmans’, were also in attendance at the news conference Thursday.

Cutchogue Limo Crash Victims
Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

“You just hope that whatever being done going forward will prevent something like this from happening again,” said Steve Baruch.

“What we can hope and pray for is that this happens now, and these tragedy stop,” said Felicia Baruch.