Virginia Highway Safety Office News ReleasesFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Media Contact: Melanie Stokes
Department of Motor Vehicles
Prom Alert: Not All Limo Services Licensed, Insured
Use DMV Website to Find Safe, Secure Prom Transportation
RICHMOND - Spring brings the onset of prom season, and teens across Virginia will be calling limousine services to transport them on one of the most exciting nights of their lives. Not all limos services are equal. A limousine service must be properly licensed, insured and should meet certain safety criteria.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers an online resource for teens and parents who want to make the right choice for prom night. A list of registered and insured limousine companies operating across the state is available on the DMV website, www.dmvNOW.com.
"Many young people often choose alternative modes of transportation when attending their prom celebrations," said DMV Commissioner D.B. Smit. "Randomly selecting a limo company from the phone book doesn't guarantee that company is properly licensed and insured."
Before renting a limousine, make sure you are getting the specific limo you want. Ask to see the actual limousine that you will be hiring, and ask for a test ride.
Make a checklist of the following items:
- Air conditioning/heating, television, sound system, etc. are working.
- Ride is comfortable and the vehicle is clean.
- Limousine will comfortably and safely hold everyone in your party.
- Limousine is equipped with working seat belts for all passengers.
- Virginia vehicle inspection sticker is current.
- Ask about the company's vehicle maintenance program.
When renting a limo, ask if there will be any additional charges for gratuities, vehicle cleaning, mileage and fuel costs. Do not sign a contract for a limo or pay any money until you have read the contract. It should give you exclusive use of the limousine during the entire contract period.
Limo companies will not allow consumption of alcohol by underage passengers. DMV, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the Virginia Limousine Association (VLA) sent a letter to all licensed limousine operators asking them to prohibit underage drinking in their vehicles.
The VLA is sponsoring the Prom Pledge Parade of Limousines in Richmond today, April 23, at 2 p.m. to promote teen safety during high school prom and graduation season. According to the VLA, limousines from companies throughout Virginia will begin the parade at Semmes and 7th Street, cross the Manchester Bridge, turn right at Cary Street, and stop in front of the James Center. Smit, VLA President Paul Walsh, ABC Commissioner Esther Vassar, and Arlene Cundiff, coordinator of Safe and Drug-Free Programs for the Virginia Department of Education, will speak in front of the James Center about combating underage drinking.