Just How Safe Are Our Children? Chattanooga School Bus Crash Under Investigation
A Chattanooga, Tennessee man has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of reckless endangerment and reckless driving resulting in the deaths of five elementary school children. Additionally, two dozen children were transported to local hospitals to assess injuries.
First responders worked for hours to free the children from the twisted wreckage while parents anxiously looked on.
The probable cause, speeding. It has been reported that the bus was excessively accelerating, lost control around a bend and nearly ripped in two as it hit a tree.
Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher described the scene as “every public safety professional’s worst nightmare”. No doubt there will be additional testing for possible driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances.
As the National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) has initiated an investigation into the crash, it is estimated, on a national level, that school buses still remain the safest mode of transportation for school districts. As the investigation and possible additional charges remain to be seen, some parents may be left wondering as to just how safe are their children?
The entire national is outraged and saddened by this recent tragedy and may be seeking school bus safety protocol in their respective school districts. For those residing in Texas, the Department of Public Service (TxDPS), the primary goal of the School Bus Transportation Program is to develop and maintain a sound program to ensure education is key to provide a safe and reliable student transportation system.
Through the School Bus Driver Certification as well as subsequent Re-Certification courses, the TxDPS treats protocol regarding controlled substance and alcohol use and testing quite seriously.
The department’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Service publishes the guidelines in the Texas Carrier’s Guide to Highway Safety required under the Federal Department of Transportation (FDOT) regulations covering
- Alcohol and Drug Testing,
- Protocol for Transportation Workplace Drug and Testing Programs,
- Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing.
If a driver has produced a positive reading, the following protocol sections are then implemented.
- Report of Refusal and Certain Results,
- Reports of Valid Positive Results on Alcohol and Drug Tests.
As each state has programs and regulations in place, tragedies such as the Chattanooga disaster sadly continue to make headlines.
If you are employed by a school district transportation company and require legal counsel to address DWI charges, experienced San Antonio criminal defense attorney, Sam H. Lock can help. Successfully representing clients throughout Central and South, Texas, attorney Lock will fight to have your voice heard. Contact attorney Lock to schedule your no-charge, initial consultation today.