HomeSeatbeltsN.Y. Legislature Passes Bill Requiring Students to Wear Seatbelts on Chartered Trips

N.Y. Legislature Passes Bill Requiring Students to Wear Seatbelts on Chartered Trips

The New York Legislature passed a bill requiring passengers ages 8 years and older to wear seat belts in charter buses. This bill arose amid a fatal crash that occurred last year.

Last September, a chartered motorcoach carrying high school students to a band camp veered off a New York highway causing the vehicle to tumble down an embankment. Two adults onboard the bus were killed, while several other passengers were injured.

It was this crash that prompted the legislation to be introduced in January. The act would amend the vehicle and traffic law in relation to safety belts on charter buses. The bill requires that safety belts be available and used on charter buses for persons age 8 through 16.

The New York bill also states that no person 16–years old or older shall be a passenger in a charter bus unless that person is retrained by an approved safety belt. The bill does not specify if a 2-point lap belt or a 3-point lap/shoulder belt, though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2019 finalized a rule requiring all motorcoach manufacturers to install the lap/shoulder seatbelts.

According to the New York legislation, a charter bus refers to a bus manufactured or assembled on or after Nov. 28, 2016.

It would also levy a $50 fine on passengers caught not wearing the safety restraints, but police would cite the parents of passengers between 8 and 15-years-old, if the parent was present during the time of the violation. This act would take effect 180 days after signature to become a law.

As of this report Assembly Bill 8557 had yet to be delivered to Gov. Kathy Hochul for signature. She has 10 days (not counting Sundays) to sign or veto bills passed by both the assembly and senate. If she fails to sign or veto a bill within those 10 days, it automatcially becomes law.

Related: New York Student Struck and Killed by School Bus
Related: New York State Amends School Bus Camera Law Following Court Rulings
Related: (STN Podcast E213) Onsite at STN EXPO Indy: Driver Shortage & School Bus Safety Convos
Related: Updated: Washington Bill to Outlaw School Bus Trespassing Becomes Law

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