Tragic NY limousine crash puts spot light on regulations in West Tennessee

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — Investigators are calling a limousine crash in New York one of the deadliest U.S transit accidents in nearly a decade.

The accident has officials in West Tennessee taking a closer look at limousine safety and regulations.

“I think we should have more regulations and more checking, that way everybody is safer,” limousine business owner Jerry Vandiver said.

Vandiver has owned Elite Limousine Service in northeast Madison County for more than 20 years.

He says some larger cities in Tennessee have regulations when it comes to inspections of the vehicles, but because his business is in a rural county, the only inspection he has to complete is through his insurance company.

“We need state inspections because there’s so many places in Tennessee that’s not in cities,” he said.

Vandiver says because there are no statewide inspections, it’s easy for anyone to start up a limo business.

“During prom season, all of these limos come out of the woodwork and it’s just pathetic what these kids are riding in,” he said.

Vandiver says in order to run to limousine service, the state requires a certain amount of insurance.

“It’s extremely expensive,” he said.

Vandiver says despite the lax regulations, he checks the tires and brakes on his limos each time before they go out.

He says age and mileage on the vehicles also plays a factor.

And when it comes to picking a limousine service, Vandiver says it comes down to one important factor: safety.

“There are so many things you need to check on with a limo, you carry passengers all the time and you want them to be safe,” he said.

Vandiver says in Tennessee, a business must get an F endorsement to drive a “for hire” vehicle or limousine.

He says in order to get the endorsement, you must pass a 25 question multiple choice test.

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