There was a horrible accident involving a dump truck and a school bus in Chesterfield Township, New Jersey on Thursday, an accident which left an 11-year-old student, one of three triplet daughters of a New Jersey State Trooper, dead. In all, 17 out of the 25 students on the bus were injured.
CHESTERFIELD, N.J. – February 17, 2012 (WPVI) — The NTSB says an investigation is underway into a bus crash in Chesterfield, N.J. that left one child dead and 17 others injured.
A news conference was held Friday afternoon, where the NTSB explained their reason for looking into highway configuration, signage, and other factors.
“It drew our attention because New Jersey is one of six states that has seatbelt requirements on school buses for passengers. The safety board has been interested in occupant protection on school buses for several years,” said Chief Investigator Pete Kotwski.
More at the link. However, your editor has a serious question: why is the federal government investigating a local traffic accident? Yes, it was a bad one, but it did not involve interstate travel, nor did it occur on a US or interstate highway. The supposed condition which attracted their attention, that the Garden State is one of only a few states which require seat belts on school buses, is unpersuasive: if there were anything of interest in that, they could have requested and studied the data from state and local investigators. They didn’t need to fly up there, they didn’t need to add their time to the state and local investigation, and they really didn’t need to stick their noses into this.
As I noted in this comment, the national debt increased by a whopping $22,295,357,831.96 in just the one day between the 15th and 16th of February. The President and the Democrats just can’t seem to see anything which can be cut — other than the Department of Defense, of course — but this accident, right now, shows the unnecessary duplication of effort by the federal government, deciding it is their business to investigate a tragic, but nevertheless local, accident.
According to the WPVI-TV report, it will probably take a year before the National Transportation Safety Board issues a report on this accident. The NTSB will spend a whole year, writing a report, doubtlessly hundreds, if not thousands of pages long, giving us no more facts than a rookie state trooper could write down in fifteen minutes. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars — assuming it doesn’t cross the million dollar threshold — will the NTSB spend investigating something which really should not be a federal matter, and duplicating the work of the New Jersey State Police?