New Tennessee School Bus Law in Effect
New Tennessee School Bus Law
A devastating 2016 school bus crash has pushed state law makers to enact more stringent laws regulating school buses in Tennessee.
In 2016, six children died in a school bus crash that took place in Chattanooga. The driver, Johnthony Walker, was 24 years old at the time of the crash. Authorities reported that he was speeding. It was also reported that he had received a cell phone call just prior to the collision on the curvy Tennessee road. There were 37 children in his care. This was a tragic and eye opening incident for many Tennessee residents and brought fourth fervent advocates for school bus legislation reform. The Tennessee State Legislature responded by passing further requirements relating to the operation of school buses in the state.
As of January 1, 2018, several new requirements will be in effect relating to school buses. The new requirements include:
- Age requirement for drivers. Drivers must now be at least 25 years of age in order to operate a school bus.
- Driving experience requirement for drivers. Drivers must have a minimum of five consecutive years of driving experience.
- School bus driver safety program. School district and charter school transportation supervisors must be appointed.
While these new requirements will hopefully keep children safe on the bus ride to school, many were disappointed that the legislation did not take further measures. Some had hoped to make it mandatory for new school buses in Tennessee to be equipped with seat belts. This, however, did not pass.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that students are almost 70 times more likely to get to school safely by taking a school bus than they are traveling by car. NHTSA credits the more stringent regulations pertaining to school buses for this statistics. Hopefully the new Tennessee legislation will work to further increase the chances for students to arrive safely at school.
A school bus crash injuring children is heartbreaking. We trust these vehicles and their drivers to keep our children safe. If your child has suffered injuries as a result of a school bus injury, our experienced Murfreesboro bus accident attorneys at Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley fight for you and your family’s rights to compensation for your injuries. Contact our office today online, or call 615-893-1331 to schedule a free consultation.