Congressmen request hearing on school bus safety

School Bus Crash Leaves 6 Dead in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Photo Date: 11/21/16 (MGN)

WASHINGTON (WVLT) -- Congressmen John Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) requested a hearing on school bus safety after the fatal Chattanooga school bus crash. They sent a letter to Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) in the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

"Despite a decent safety record, accidents still happen and they jeopardize the lives of our students," the Members wrote. "Recent fatal school bus crashes in Maryland and Tennessee have raised urgent questions about the oversight of commercial school bus operators, including the adequacy of current procedures for assessing drivers' medical fitness for duty and the safety history of companies that operate school buses."

Six people were killed in November when a school bus crashed into a car then struck a pillar in a cemetery and collided with a public transit bus in Baltimore. Three weeks later, a school bus crashed killed six children in Chattanooga.

The National Transportation Safety Board says nearly 500,000 buses travel a combined 260 million miles, carrying more than 25 million students to and from school and activities each day in the country.