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Letters: 'Stretch' limos must be regulated

Five people were treated for nonlife-threatening injuries after

Five people were treated for nonlife-threatening injuries after a collision in Middle Island involving three vehicles, including a bus with handicapped passengers, police said. (March 2, 2012) Credit: Christopher Sabella

The tragic fatal crash of a stretch limousine that claimed four young and promising lives is yet another sad example of safety regulations being conveniently circumvented ["Schumer: More rules for limos," News, Aug. 3]. As reported, preliminary investigations showed that like many stretch limousines, this vehicle was stripped of the very safety features that save lives in road accidents.

Appallingly, profitability and greed trumped safety. Operators of these services ironically pray on folks who want to steer away from mixing alcohol and driving, so they hire a stretch limousine service.

I'm glad that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has called for stricter regulations. I hope this is taken up by Congress and the National Transportation Safety Board. We need strict requirements across America, ensuring that automobile safety will not be stretched to dangerous and unacceptable limits.

Atul M. Karnik, Woodside

In "Lingering questions over limo crash" [Letters, July 28], one writer stated that he isn't in favor of drunken driving, yet alcohol "could have possibly contributed to the stopping time," while it was clearly not the reason for the crash.

Another letter writer complained that "Newsday has done everything to sensationalize the fatal limo accident" and there is so much that is unclear. Another wrote that despite reports of beer drinking by the truck driver, it was "just an accident, caused by the bad judgment of the limo driver." Finally, another writer stated, "even a sober driver might not have had enough time to avoid the crash."

All sensible, right-thinking individuals must be shocked by such sentiments.

The truck driver was drinking and under the influence before the accident happened, then the girls were killed; therein lies the crime and therein lies the blame. There is no controversy.

Drunk driving kills. Let us pledge now, today, to use the memory of these young ladies -- and the Ostane family, whose father and two young children died after their car was rear-ended by an alleged drunken driver -- to lose the excuse! Stop drinking and driving today! Stay sober and save lives!

Diane DiLillo Gutierrez, Northport

The integrity of the limo itself should be investigated. Limos are cut in half and "stretched." The safety of a vehicle that has been stretched may be compromised. A longer vehicle is also a bigger target and less maneuverable.

It would be interesting to see if there are regulations governing the alteration of vehicles into limos, so that the limo meets the same safety standards as the original vehicle.

Charles Brockner, Dix Hills

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