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Channel 3 goes on ride-along with TN state trooper monitoring school bus

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

The first week is in the books for a new initiative launched to keep kids safe on school buses.

Since last week, the Tennessee Highway Patrol has monitored 32 school buses in Hamilton County.

READ MORE | Hamilton Co. schools and THP announce bus safety plan

Troopers have ridden school buses six times.

Most often though, troopers have followed the buses in their patrol cars to make sure the drivers and cars around the bus are being safe.

The multi-agency safety enhancement plan comes after the Woodmore Elementary bus crash in November that killed six children and injured many others.

While troopers who ride the school buses are focusing on the Woodmore routes, the agency is monitoring other buses in the district too. They won’t say which routes and in some instances they’re using unmarked cars.

“It's easier to catch someone in an unmarked vehicle and we want the community to understand how important it is to drive safe around those school buses and those school bus stops,” Lt. John Harmon told Channel 3.

An estimated 200 violations occur daily where drivers don’t stop for school buses.  Lt. Harmon says THP has not had to cite anyone since the initiative began last week.

The agency is not hiring more people to do the job and taxpayers won’t have to pay more either, according to THP.

The initiative is a partnership between the Hamilton County Department of Education, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Chattanooga Police Department and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department.

The program will continue through the end of the school year.

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