The National Transportation Safety Board is calling for national limousine safety standards is calling for new limousines to have shoulder and lap belts for all passengers. Their ruling is only required for newly manufactured limousines.
The NTBS sites a deadly crash in Schoharie, New York in October 2018 for their recommendations. It’s calling for the National Limousine Association to educate its members on the benefits of using seatbelts and to encourage their passengers to use them. The decision also includes requiring states to require safety checks for limousines and pass bills for mandatory seat belts in all vehicles including limos.
The October 6, 2018 crash killed a total of 20-the driver, 17 limo passengers, and two pedestrians.
During the investigation of the crash, the New York State Department of Transportation claimed that they require seat belt checks during regular limousine inspections. The state claims that the rule has been in place sine the 1990s.
The investigation of the deadly crash showed that no passengers were wearing a seat belt.
“It is extremely unfortunate these important measures have been repeatedly rejected by the legislature. We urge all lawmakers to join this crucial public safety effort and finally pass the requirement into law during the next session,” the New York State Department of Transportation said in a statement.
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer also responded to the recommendations, saying he’ll continue pushing for reform on the federal level.
One New York limousine company manager says new regulations won’t help if existing regulations are being ignored, as they were in the Schoharie crash. He says that’s where the legislature’s energy should be spent.
“These things being done aren’t going to stop what happened from happening again if you get someone who doesn’t have a mindset to be safe, or who could care less,” said D.J., the manager of Ambassador Limousines. “Who is out just to make money and make it work without working, and it could happen again.”
Limo company Nauman Hussain faces 20 counts of manslaughter and 20 counts of criminally negligent homicide in connection to the crash.
These updated safety recommendations seem to be making traction and look to spread to a national level.
Source: Spectrum Rochester