CARTER COUNTY – As more students head back to the classroom Monday, school bus drivers throughout the state of Tennessee are facing new regulations this school year.
Back in July, school transportation administrators from across the Volunteer State met to discuss new regulations and changes to existing ones.
“We made sure drivers understood that in no case should they be on a cell phone driving a bus,” said Carter County Schools Transportation Director Wayne Sams.
Sams said if bus drivers need to make a phone call they must pull over to the side of the road.
Other regulations include ramping up procedures for railroad crossing, continuous training for bus evacuations, and increasing drivers training time.
Sams told News Channel 11, his department decided to implement another change on top of the state regulations, more inspections.
“State does it once a year but we decided last year that it’s something we’re going to do every 45 days,” said Sams.
A bus crash near Knoxville that killed 2 children and a teacher’s aide sparked several changes in the established regulations.
An investigation revealed the driver of the bus was texting while driving.
“Anytime something like that happens we want to make sure we try to learn from it and grow from that tragedy,” said Sams.
Sams said some of the changes may seem tedious, but keeping students safe as they travel to and from school is the number one priority
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