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COPS LIMO BLITZ; Fears over party cars.

Byline: By NORMAN SILVESTER

THEY are a must-have for hen parties and school proms.

But the 1000 stretch limousines on the roads of Scotland could be putting their passengers at risk, police claimed yesterday.

The Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland called for taxi-style licenses for limos and criminal records checks for drivers.

ACPOS spokesman Stuart Wilson said: "We want to know who is driving them, are they insured and are they roadworthy.

"With limos used in the main by women and groups of children, it is important that all the checks are in place before the drivers are allowed on the road."

The body, who represent Scotland's chief constables, said few limos are licensed or council registered.

Police believe that many limos flout basic safety rules and often carry too many people. They also fear some vehicles are too long and could not withstand a crash.

ACPOS have written to all 37 councils calling for compulsory licensing.

The Association of Scottish Police Superintendents backed ACPOS.

Spokesman Chief Supt Tom Buchan said yesterday: "At present it seems anyone can buy a limo and take out an ad in the Yellow Pages even if they have criminal convictions."

The Executive said: "We are aware of the concerns of the police over the lack of licensing of stretch limos and it is a matter which we are currently looking into."

Bill Bowling, of the National Limousine Association, said limos were "very safe" and had only been involved in one death.

He added: "Operators who run outside the law should be investigated.

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silvester@sundaymail.co.uk

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Good times: But cops want limos to be licensed
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 28, 2006
Words:276
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