East Bay lawmaker introduces limo safety bill after deadly fire 

click to enlarge limo fire
  • Susan Tripp Pollard/The Contra Costa Times via AP FILE PHOTO
  • Ten elderly women escaped unharmed when a limousine burst into flames Sunday in Walnut Creek, just over a month after a limo fire on the San Mateo Bridge killed five of the nine passengers onboard.

In response to a deadly limousine fire on the San Mateo Bridge last month, Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, has introduced legislation that would add safety features in limos.

The proposed law would require limos to have two rear exit doors in the passenger compartment, as well as two windows that could be pushed out from the inside in the event of a fire or other emergency.

Corbett introduced the legislation Monday, one day after a separate incident in Walnut Creek's Rossmoor community in which 10 elderly women safely escaped a limo as it caught fire.

The Rossmoor fire came a little over a month after the May 4 limo fire on the San Mateo Bridge that killed five women, including a new bride, as the group headed to a bridal celebration in Foster City. Four other women survived by crawling out through the driver's compartment.

Corbett called the deaths "incomprehensible and preventable."

"This legislation simply strengthens limo safety requirements in California by making sure that passengers can evacuate quickly in the event of an emergency," Corbett said in a statement.

The California Highway Patrol is still investigating the cause of the fatal fire, Officer Art Montiel said.

The California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates limousine safety, is continuing to investigate both limo fires.

Corbett's proposed safety legislation is currently in the Assembly Transportation Committee for consideration.

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