Legislation Allows Districts To Keep Inspected School Buses Longer

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The State Senate approved legislation sponsored by Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville) to extend the use of school buses, as long as they meet additional inspection requirements.  Senate Bill 1966 authorizes the use of conventional and Class D school buses until they have reached their 18th year of service.  The Commissioner of Safety, through the inspection process, may approve the use of buses for additional years of service beyond the 18th year, if the bus has less than 200,000 recorded miles.  

“This will allow our local school districts to get a little more life out of our school buses,” said Senator Bell.  “It gives local communities more flexibility to extend the use of a school bus which is deemed mechanically safe for transporting children.  We have put into place additional inspections to ensure that they are in good operating order before the life of that bus can be extended.”

Currently, school buses in Tennessee are allowed to operate up to 15 years with a 200,000 mile limit, whichever comes first, if they pass additional inspections.  

“The surrounding states are like vultures over our school districts waiting on a bus to end its time, either through mileage or age in the state of Tennessee,” said Senator Bell.  “They are snatching those buses up and using them sometimes five and 10 years longer.  When you look at statistics, there is no difference of the safety of the children in those states than the state of Tennessee.” 

The legislation requires school buses which are 16 to 18 years old to be inspected twice annually.  It also allows a bus that reaches the 200,000 mile mark during the academic year to be kept in service until the end of the academic year.  The legislation is expected save local school districts approximately $56 million. 

All buses that have been in service for 15 years or less shall be inspected once annually under the proposal. The bill funds four additional Department of Safety positions this year and two next year to inspect the buses to ensure student safety.  

Studies show that school buses are the safest mode of travel, in terms of miles driven and the number of injuries or deaths.


Lee Conducts Remote Piano Master Class With Juilliard Professor

As a part of Lee University’s 13th annual International Piano Festival, Dr. Michael Shinn of the Juilliard School in New York taught a live interactive master class for participating students.  Students performed for Dr. Shinn on a Yamaha DCFX Disklavier PRO concert grand piano on Lee’s campus while a similarly equipped high-tech “reproducing” instrument at Yamaha Artist ... (click for more)

Roger Shen Takes First Place In Lee’s Piano Competition

Roger Shen took first place in the 13th annual Lee University piano competition for the collegiate division. The award ceremony concluded the International Piano Festival and Competition held June 11-17 on Lee’s campus.  Third place was awarded to Chin-An Lin, with an honorable mention going to Tzu-Jung Peng. For the pre-collegiate division, rather than traditional first, ... (click for more)

Mae Beavers Hits New UT President For Reinstating Campus Diversity Office

Republican gubernatorial candidate Senator Mae Beavers expressed disappointment that the Chancellor of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Beverly Davenport, has announced plans to reinstate the Campus Diversity Office and hire a new director of the LGBT Pride Center. She said in May 2016 HB 2248 became law, which defunded the University of Tennessee’s Office of Diversity ... (click for more)

Wilkins Found With 2 Stolen Vehicles After Homeowner Catches Him In Break-In

Authorities said Jesse Lee Wilkins was found with two stolen vehicles after a resident on Thursday caught him stealing items from his residence on Cave Lane. Wilkins, 29, of 2906 E. 43rd St., was charged with aggravated burglary and two counts of theft over $1,000. When deputies arrived on a burglary call, they found Wilkins and the resident standing in the driveway. He said ... (click for more)

Exempt Volunteer Fire Departments From Procurement Policies - And Response (2)

The Hamilton County Commission just grouped a bunch of departments together in an attempt to reign in the CVB. I haven't spoken to any commissioners, but I truly believe it was unknowingly. By mandating that all non profits that receive 25 percent of their revenue follow county procurement policies, they might as well have padlocked all local volunteer fire departments. We expect ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Ghost & The Eclipse

So you don’t believe in ghosts, haints or spirits? And you don’t believe that smack in the middle of this August, it is going to be nighttime in the middle of the day? Then put on your seatbelt and sit next to me … First, the ghost. The 6 th Congressional District in the State of Georgia is in the northern part of Atlanta’s suburbs. It includes Roswell, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody ... (click for more)