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Bus Crash in Staten Island Injures Eight, Including Children

It was recently reported that a school bus in Staten Island overturned, injuring multiple people, including children. The school bus was involved in an accident with a pickup truck at the intersection of Oakdale and Preston yesterday at 7:30am.

Due to the recent nature of the accident, investigators are still trying to ascertain what happened, and which driver caused the collision. Victims were all transported by emergency medical services to Staten Island University Hospital for treatment.

New York State has specific laws and statutes pertaining to operation of school buses which must be strictly followed by the bus companies that operate the school buses, their operators and occupants. Specifically, the statute is § 1229 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law which reads, in part, as follows:

§1229-c. Operation of vehicles with safety seats and safety belts.

1. No person shall operate a motor vehicle in this state unless:(i) in an appropriate child restraint system... with combination lap safety and shoulder harness belts or (ii) by a lap safety belt in the event such vehicle is not equipped with combination lap safety and shoulder harness belts or all the combination lap safety and shoulder harness belts are being used to properly restrain other passengers who are under the age of sixteen;
3-a. It shall be a violation of this section if a person is seated in a seating position equipped with both a lap safety belt and a shoulder harness belt and such person is not restrained by both such lap safety belt and shoulder harness belt.

To paraphrase the statute, all occupants under the age of four (4) must have seat belts not only available and in working order but they must be fastened in that seat belt. This is a duty that must be undertaken by the school bus operator or matron before the bus is in operation and use. In the above accident, if the children were under age 4 and not wearing their seat belts, that fact would be a tremendous tool to be used in litigation against the bus company.


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