The City of Seattle is apologizing after investigators videotaped children from a summer camp outing piling into a van that is unable to “safely” accommodate them.
There were fourteen children, all about middle school-aged, cramming into a van that only had nine seat belts.
Seattle Park and Recreation Department are lucky that no injuries were caused by their careless mistake.
A reporter from Kiro 7 was the first to uncover this case. Chris Halsne, by chance, saw the van last week with all of the children piling inside.
The van traveled down the busy, construction area near the waterfront, then across the West Seattle Bridge.
He followed them to ask the driver some questions once the vehicle stopped.
Halsne: “It’s unsafe for the kids. Do you agree?”
Driver: “Yeah. I do agree with that. I’m sorry.”
Halsne: “How many kids do you have in there? How many did you have to take care of today? Seems like a lot, just for you.”
Driver: “I don’t know.”
Adult supervisor (off camera): “No comment!”
Driver: “OK. No comment.”
Adult supervisor (off camera): “Say ‘no comment.”
Halsne to second supervisor: “You don’t want to talk? I mean, you were helping supervise as well.”
Second adult supervisor: “No comment.”
The reporter then contacted the Seattle Parks and Rec Department to find out that the supervisors that day were not exactly employees of the city, they worked for a non-profit agency called the Associate Recreation Counsel.
“It's clear the employee made a very questionable judgment call by letting those kids into that van without seat belts. We would never ordinarily do that. It won't happen again and we're grateful to you for bringing it to our attention.”
Driving with children under 16 years old without placing them in a seat belt is against the law that should lead to a $124 fine per child, not including the risk of injury.
This is a huge liability for this organization if they were to be in an accident – especially since the unbuckled passengers were minors. Davis Law Group commends Kiro 7 for uncovering this potentially harmful negligent behavior and hope that the organization will follow through with their word and make a change to prevent injury.