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California lawmakers consider limousine safety rules

June 11, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • A burned-out 2009 Lincoln Town Car limousine sits in a driveway along Skycrest Drive in the Rossmoor community of Walnut Creek. Ten women heading to a birthday party escaped unharmed when the limousine burst into flames.
A burned-out 2009 Lincoln Town Car limousine sits in a driveway along Skycrest… (Susan Tripp Pollard / Associated…)

Two recent fires involving limousines in California have resulted in new safety legislation in Sacramento.

Sen. Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro) introduced a bill Monday that would require two exit doors in the rear portion of a limousine to allow quick evacuation, and at least two windows that can be pushed out for escape in an emergency.

Five women were killed May 4 when a fire engulfed a limousine on the San-Mateo-Hayward Bridge. Most of the victims were nurses heading to a hotel bridal party.

On Sunday, 10 women heading to a birthday party escaped from a limousine after it caught fire.

“Though four young women luckily survived the horrible fire on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge, the fact remains that five women perished unnecessarily and in a way that seems both incomprehensible and preventable.” Corbett said in a statement.

“SB 109 will hopefully ensure that a tragedy such as the one that occurred on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge on that fateful night never again happens."

The bill is to be considered in the coming weeks in the Assembly Transportation Committee.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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