Independent operators will be driving all 4 Woodmore bus routes - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Independent operators will be driving all 4 Woodmore bus routes

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Hamilton County independent bus drivers will soon take over the routes for Woodmore Elementary School. 

Drivers for Durham School Services were in charge of the routes before the deadly Woodmore bus crash, independent drivers tell Channel 3, the move is long overdue. 

READ MORE | Continuing Coverage – Woodmore bus crash

"In my years of business that's the only way to go because we are invested in what we do and we make sure our equipment is in good shape," said Jerry Green. 

Green has been driving a Hamilton County School bus as an independent contractor for 45 years. 
 
"I've got kids that get on my bus now that actually probably in middle school that their grandparents rode my bus," said Green. 

He's fought for more independent operators on the road since the tragic Woodmore bus crash that killed 6 children,  many parents in that neighborhood have said they want change too. 

Green showed us what's new this year for independent operators. He says there's a new camera on the front of the bus in addition to a new two-way radio. 

"We had two-way radios but they weren't the type that did the GPS monitoring," said Green.  "Then we have two additional cameras, they will be on the door side and we have an additional camera on the driver side which makes it a five camera system."

He's adding a new set of tires too.

"Well we want them to know that they can trust us with their students," said Green. 

The Tennessee Highway Patrol will also be stepping up their patrols across all school zones in the coming weeks.  

READ MORE | Victim's mom posts Woodmore bus crash lawsuit documents on Facebook

"We need to get back to the basics and we need to get back to the habit of recognizing where those school zones are," said Lt. John Harmon, Tennessee Highway Patrol. 

Local law enforcement plans to continue riding school buses at random through out the year and raising awareness. 

"We encourage everyone to be watching for those students, watching for the bus early in the morning," said Lt. Harmon. "We operate in different time zones so in some areas of our region, some children are riding the bus and they're at the bus stop in the dark."

State troopers will also randomly follow buses across the 12 county region as soon as school is back in session.

Officials with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office say their deputies will be out starting next week, making sure drivers are paying attention to school speed zones and maintaining a safe distance from buses. 

Be sure to allow additional time for commuting in the mornings and evenings in and around school zones. 

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