As a school bus driver I would like to add to the discussion of student safety.
All of the drivers I work with take their responsibility for student safety very seriously. You could not do this job unless you loved children.
On a regular basis other drivers cut me off, run stop signs, or pass my bus in no-passing zones. Twice, while letting off students, I have had cars ignore my flashing red lights and stop sign and dangerously pass my bus. What a surprise that they were both on cellphones.
Everyone hates getting behind a school bus. Heaven forbid that you are delayed two or three minutes because the bus is going the speed limit or makes a couple of stops to get students home safely.
My school bus is 40 feet long, weighs 25,000 pounds and carries 70 precious souls. News flash: My bus does not handle as well or brake as quickly as your new BMW or even your 20-year-old minivan.
Three suggestions to help bus drivers keep their students safe: Please slow down, stay off your personal devices, and treat all school buses as though they are carrying your kids.
Ben Matthews, Franklin 37064
Re: “Better drivers needed,” by Olivia DuPuy, May 15.
In her letter to the editor, Olivia DuPuy echoes the legislature and the governor: “It costs too much to protect our children.”
Somehow they think if we could just fix school bus drivers at no cost, then all would be well.
The driver in Chattanooga was not selected by the county school district because the county had attempted to transfer its responsibility for student safety by contracting with a private bus company. Students’ safety should never be contracted out to the lowest bidder.
Even for the counties that do not privatize their transportation responsibilities, they do not have a wide selection of candidates to fill bus driver positions. The current compensation and job environment do not generate even enough candidates of the lowest level to fill vacancies.
The bill that failed to get out of the Senate Finance Committee did not even mandate that all buses have seat belts but only those buses purchased after some future date. Tennessee has its priorities so wrong that it gives a tax cut to our richest residents by ending the Hall Tax and gives tax cuts to out-of-state businesses but cannot fund seat belts in school buses at a future date.
The arguments used against seat belts on school buses are the same ones I heard more than 50 years ago against putting seat belts in cars.
Students will not use them is the first fake argument. Not all adults use them either, but even if only the dutiful students use seat belts, at least that number will be protected.
Bob Huss, Goodlettsville 37072
I was foiled or saved, depending on your point of view, by the remnants of Cotton Mather’s Salem, Mass., troops when I tried to buy a small bottle of wine at Kroger 2 p.m. Sunday.
No sale of wine permitted on Sunday, apologized the young sales clerk. I said I’m four times 21 years of age. Does that help? She said no, it won’t ring up by law.
Any other day OK, but not Sunday.
Now, two businesses downtown are authorized to sell alcohol beverages 23 out of 24 hours a day, but not 24 hours.
How silly and unenforceable can laws get?
Gus Tomlinson, Nashville 37215
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