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NTSB’s Hart Discusses Tennessee School Bus Crashes

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Christopher Hart of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently discussed some lessons the organization has learned from recent high-profile bus crashes. The organization has issued recommendations based on these lessons.

Hart spoke at the National Association of State Directors for Pupil Transportation conference in November about the devastating 2016 Chattanooga school bus crash, which killed six children and injured many more. Hart’s recommendations after investigating that crash were to increase monitoring and investigation of driver records. This is due to the fact that the driver in that accident, Johnthony Walker, had received several complaints from concerned parents about his unsafe driving habits and yet, he was still allowed to drive.

Hart also discussed the 2014 school bus crash in Knoxville that resulted in the deaths of three children. That crash happened because the driver was texting while driving and crashed into another school bus. The NTSB has recommended since 2006 that novice and commercial drivers avoid using cell phones on the road, and in 2011 expanded that recommendation to all drivers.

Hart also discussed the ongoing debate regarding school bus seat belts, which spiked in 2015 after a Houston crash killed two students. The bus in that incident was pushed off an overpass after being struck by a car. Hart explained that the addition of seat belts likely would not prevent accidents deemed “un-survivable,” like the Houston crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not mandated three-point seat belts on school buses, but has in recent years expressed some support for them.

Luke 11:28, “He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’”

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