Former representative still hopeful for seat belts on buses after Woodmore crash
The Woodmore bus crash drew up a lot of conversation among lawmakers about the safety of school buses almost immediately after the crash.
Former Tennessee Representative JoAnne Favors spearheaded the campaign while she was in office saying seat belts were needed on school buses.
The National Transportation Safety Board also recommended adding three-point seat belts to new school buses to save lives in crashes or rollovers.
But ultimately the measure didn’t gain the support it needed to become law in Tennessee.
"Because I just didn't have the support,” Favors said, “We have so many independent drivers in Tennessee and they were adamantly opposed to it."
Last year, former Governor Bill Haslam allocated $3 million for districts to receive one time grants to purchase new buses that come equipped with seat belts.
A 2017 Channel 3 investigation found that it would cost about $10,000 per bus, which means a district had the opportunity to outfit 300 buses with the grant.
"I really appreciate former Governor Haslam for allocating $3 million so that those communities that wanted to go ahead and start this that they could access funds from the state to help with that,” Favors said.
Favors hopes one day every bus in Tennessee will have seat belts so a family never has to feel the pain Woodmore families felt.
Channel 3 contacted the Department of Education and the Department of Safety to find out which districts received the grant money, but they have not responded.