Limo Association Urges California Gov to Veto Safety Bill

A California limousine industry group is urging Gov. Jerry Brown to veto new legislation that came in response to the deadly San Mateo bridge fire and which calls for emergency exits in new and old limos, reports San Jose Mercury News.

The letter dated Wednesday from the Greater California Livery Association says that the exits could present a danger to passengers by spurring a “massive explosion” and notes the timetable for the upgrades is unrealistic.

However, the association president backed away from the letter’s safety claims and said the group’s primary concern is when the new features would become mandatory.

Two fire investigators unconnected to the case said the “explosion” claim was improbable. Both agreed more exits would improve safety for limo passengers.

“It’s a safety measure and it’s very, very clear that another exit would have allowed these women to escape with their lives,” said Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, who authored SB109. “I think the (Greater California Livery Association) is being unreasonable.”

Corbett said she worked closely with the association.

Association President Mark Stewart said his group supports improved safety and agreed to the new emergency exit requirements for the state’s estimated 3,000 to 4,200 limos. He said the problem is pushing smaller companies, who’ve already been hurt by a sluggish economy, to spend an as yet undetermined sum to do upgrades that don’t have clear standards.

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