NTSB seeks seat belt requirements for limos after crash

Schoharie New York Limousine crash 100718 AP_1538939219307

Debris scatters an area Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, at the site of yesterday’s fatal crash Schoharie, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board is calling for new seat belt requirements for limousines following a crash in upstate New York that killed 20 people.

The board on Wednesday released safety recommendations almost a year after a modified 2001 Ford Excursion blew through a stop sign at a T-intersection in rural Schoharie.

The vehicle crashed beside a country store, killing the driver, 17 passengers on a birthday outing and two pedestrians.

Schoharie New York Limousine crash 100718 AP_1538939219395
Members of the National Transportation Safety Board work at the scene of yesterday’s fatal crash, in Schoharie, N.Y., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

The safety board recommends requiring lap/shoulder belts on new vehicles modified to be used as limousines. The agency also recommends performance standards for seats in new limousines.

New York prosecutors allege the limo company’s operator, Nauman Hussain, allowed an improperly licensed driver to operate an “unserviceable” vehicle. Hussain has pleaded not guilty to criminally negligent homicide.

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