Austintown school bus driver cited for safety violation - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Austintown school bus driver cited for safety violation

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AUSTINTOWN TOWNSHIP, Ohio - The Ohio Highway Patrol has cited an Austintown Local School bus driver for allegedly violating bus safety regulations.

Lt. Marvin Hill of the patrol's licensing and commercial standards section tells 21 news that a trooper pulled the bus over because some seats on the bus were holding three students, instead of the maximum of two allowed by rules established by the state department of education.

Hill says the rule was made for the safety of bus riders. He says that if three people sit in one seat, and the bus driver had the occasion to suddenly apply the brakes, the third rider on the aisle seat could be thrown to the floor and injured.

Lt. Hill says the driver and school transportation supervisor are responsible for enforcing the safety rules on buses.

Austintown School Superintendent Vince Colaluca says the driver could be disciplined, and the district will remind other drivers of what to do in similar situations.

Colaluca tells 21 News that the bus that was pulled over was not overcrowded. He says there were only 58 students on the bus, which has a capacity of 71 riders.

Colaluca says "where the issue was is that students were sitting three in a seat, which they're allowed, but it's the size of the students that counts."

He says students have be fully in the seat and parts of their bodies can't be off the seats into the aisle.  According to Colaluca, students need to be directly behind the high seat back in front of them, which acts as a barrier.

There will also be a public address announcement and video shown to students.

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