Man whose Son was Injured in Motorcycle Accident Calls for Stricter Safety Standards

A young boy’s recent accident has a local man calling for reform of motorcycle passenger laws. Michael Barone’s 12-year-old son, James, was riding on the back of a motorcycle driven by Corey Hoag, 32. Michael didn’t realize James would be riding on a motorcycle that day. Tragically, the motorcycle ended up in a head-on collision with a car traveling in the opposite direction, as it traveled along Leeds-Athens Road in Athens. Hoag, a father of two, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. James was seriously injured and had to be airlifted from the scene of the crash to Albany Medical Center. James remained in the Intensive Care Unit for an extended time, was forced to undergo a splenectomy, lost function in one third of a kidney, and suffered a collapsed lung in the crash. Catskill Police are continuing to investigate the accident.

In the wake of the accident, Michael Barone is now calling for changes to the law regarding minimum age restrictions on motorcycle passengers. Based on the knowledge and skill required to ride a motorcycle safely, including the necessity of leaning into turns and holding on safely, Barone argues that allowing a child of any age to ride a motorcycle is a dangerous proposition. Few states have laws on the books limiting the age of motorcycle passengers, and New York is among those states which currently places no mandatory minimum age or size requirement on motorcycle passengers. Currently, a bill is before the New York State Senate which would bar children under six years old from riding on the back of a motorcycle, but Barone would have that age limit raised to 16.

Even without a law that would bar children like James from riding on the backs of motorcycles, drivers of motorcycles still have a duty to their passengers to drive responsibly and with the safety of their passengers in mind. Even without criminal liability, negligent drivers still can be civilly liabile to any victims of their inattention to safety. If you or a loved one have been a victim of a motorcycle accident, seek experienced personal injury attorneys to handle your claim. Contact the seasoned motorcycle accident attorneys at Basch & Keegan for compassionate legal representation for your injuries. From anywhere in the Albany, Poughkeepsie, or Kingston region, call (845) 338-8884 for a free consultation on your possible claim.