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Stephen H. Richards
Stephen H. Richards

Stephen Richards, the director of the Southeastern Transportation Center at UT, was featured in a number of media outlets following the tragic school bus accident in Chattanooga.

In addition to taking part in a live discussion on CNN’s Headline News, Richards was featured in the Knoxville News Sentinel, the Tennessean, Yahoo News, and on WBIR.

One of his key points was highlighting that standards on who can operate a school bus need to be reviewed, something he drove home with the Sentinel.

“It’s estimated there’s a human factor or driver contribution to 90 percent of all crashes, but here, not only are we having a driver component, but they seem to be situations where there’s some behavior on the part of the driver or a law violation that is extreme. “That certainly needs to be discussed and may be that we need to tighten up some of our standards on who can operate a school bus.”

Another topic Richards discussed was the speed of the bus at the time of the accident.

In talking to WBIR, Richards mentioned that the black box on the bus will provide critical information, saying, “one of the things the black box will indicate is what the speed was at the time of loss of control and during the sequence of the impact.”

TheSoutheastern Transportation Center is a part of the Center for Transportation Research, which is housed in the Tickle College of Engineering at UT.

It was founded in 1994 to help improve highway safety and includes UT as the lead institution, along with The University of Alabama, The University of Alabama-Birmingham, The University of Central Florida, The University of South Florida, The University of Kentucky, North Carolina A and T State University, The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Clemson University.