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Rider Beware: How To Make Sure Your Limo Is Safe

CHICAGO (CBS) -- CBS News has confirmed that Prestige, the limo company involved in the fatal accident in New York, had four of its vehicles taken out of service after inspections over the last two years.

So how do you know if the limo company you're hiring is safe?

CBS 2 Investigator Dorothy Tucker went to find out.

The tragic limo accident in New York is top of mind for limo drivers in Chicago.

When Gil Zamora of Signature Transportation learned the group killed in the New York stretch limo had sent a text to friends concerned about the vehicle's condition....

"Some cars you look at them and you can tell they're just in bad shape. When it started making noise supposedly, I would say 'what's the noise? Pull over.' It's worth showing up to your event late, but you're going to get there," said Zamora.

But before you ever get in a limo, the Illinois Limousine Association recommends you check out the company's safety record on a federal website called

You can search by typing in the name of the company or its ID number, which you should be able to find on the company's website.

Any company with a yellow warning symbol in any listed category indicates a problem.

Make sure you also check out the driver's record. You want one that has no complaints.

"Every six months we have to get inspected," said Zamora.

All limos should have a sticker showing the car has been inspected by the state of Illinois.

"If they don't have it on there, ask 'where's your inspection sticker?,'" added Zamora. "If they say they didn't do it, say 'how do I know this car is safe.'"

The federal website has a lot of good information but if you cannot find the limo company's ID on its website call the company and ask for it.

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