Audit: Agency failing to ensure safety of limos

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Citing incidents like the 2013 limousine fire that killed five women on the San Mateo Bridge, California's state auditor says the commission responsible for overseeing passenger carriers has failed to ensure consumer safety.

State Auditor Elaine M. Howle said in a statement Tuesday that the main reason for the deficiencies was a lack of effective leadership at the Transportation Enforcement Branch of the California Public Utilities Commission, with current management failing to establish goals or measures to guide its oversight efforts.

Howle says the commission's investigators routinely fail to collect the amount of fee revenue they are entitled to. They also fail to ensure carriers have permits, undergo inspections, hold insurance and participate in driver safety programs, she says.

The commission has agreed with the auditor's findings and plans to take action to resolve the problems.