Limo safety: What to look for before you pay

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Jimmy Barnes of Westwind Limousine Service says one of the most common questions he gets from potential customers is about cost, trying to save as much money as possible. He says it shouldn’t be that way.

Barnes says, “I want my drivers to be safe, I want my passengers to be safe, and first and foremost we don’t want anybody out there to get hurt.” He says anyone looking to hire a car service needs to do their homework on the company, the drivers, and the vehicles.

Barnes says, “You also want to make sure it has a valid Ohio Department of Transportation bus inspection report that it has passed.”

Barnes says legitimate companies undergo safety inspections and compliance reviews: “Compliance reviews are most often either random, or they’re suspicion. So if you have a high score where you’ve had incidents, that’s going to prompt them to want to come in and look at the rest of your paperwork.”

As for the vehicles themselves, the cab of an F-550 limo bus is essentially a pick up truck. Someone off the street might think they can drive one legally on the roads. But it seats 26 to 28 people, which makes a big difference when it comes to licensing as different capacity vehicles require a different class of license.

Barnes says, “If you’re in a vehicle that has a capacity of 16 or more, you’re going to want to make sure that driver’s qualified to drive it. And that they have a valid CDL driver’s license.”

Ask to see safety information, and do thorough research online. A few minutes on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website can show proof of insurance, accident history, drug and alcohol screenings for drivers, and much more.

Jimmy Barnes says another common sense thing you can do before hiring a service is to check for a list of reputable clients, and if they have good reviews.

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